What legal steps do I take if my wife abandoned me? 24 Answers as of May 24, 2011

My wife left me and I want to protect myself and file the right paper work. She left me paying all the bill, the mortgage and car payments and I do not know what steps to take please I need help, where should go and what should I do so this doesn’t backfire.

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Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
There is no cause of action for "abandonment" in Minnesota. If you wish to seek a court order dividing debts and assets, you would file for divorce or for a legal separation.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/24/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
File for divorce.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/23/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
If your wife abandoned you, that is a legitimate ground for divorce and you can sue her for Divorce by consulting with a Divorce lawyer who will do it all for you - and it should not backfire on you. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/23/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Hire a family law attorney, file for divorce, and obtain a judgment dividing the assets and debts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
File a divorce case, have it served on your wife, and proceed to judgment. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Come on in and see me. You need a divorce, and you need to get ownership of all of the things that you were stuck paying for. You also need advice to figure out what to do with all of this, how to reduce the cost to you and the damage to your credit rating. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Hire a lawyer to file for divorce. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    Typically you would file for dissolution to end the marriage. At the very least, you can file for a legal separation, but I would only really consider this if there is a strong chance of reconciliation. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You should take steps to file for divorce as soon as possible. At a minimum you should try to consult with an attorney to obtain a better overall understanding of applicable divorce law and decide whether you should hire an attorney or try to handle things yourself without an attorney. You can obtain information and forms for handling it yourself from the Colorado Supreme Court Self-Help Center at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Index.cfm.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia. I would urge you to find and retain a good Georgia divorce lawyer to help you with your divorce. I would never advise anyone to try to do it themselves. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    If your spouse has abandoned you, I would recommend filing for divorce. An attorney can help you locate her to serve her with the paperwork or attempt service through publication.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    A first step would be to file for divorce or legal separation. This is done at a court serving your town. If you know where she lives, you can have her served there. If you don't, there are other ways to serve her. I think you may need an attorney to help you here.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, if you are talking about divorce, then your start the action and ask for temporary orders until the divorce is final.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Most counties have a court house facilitator who can help or just search Washington State Divorce Court forms and find the state website. It has instructions that walk you through how to get divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    We will be glad to assist you with your divorce and protect you and your assets. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    This is a complicated situation. You didn't mention how long ago your spouse left you, whether there were children involved, and whether it was clear that she did not plan to return. In general, I would suggest contacting all of your creditors and apprising them of the situation. If you cannot make the total payments required ask about the possibility of entering into some type of payment plan. You might also want to discuss limiting your liability in case she still has access to credit cards, bank accounts or other lines of credit. Finally, you should consider how you would like to proceed in terms of the marriage itself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Your question raises several legal issues. Thus, it would be best to consult in person with a local lawyer. In the meantime, as a general answer, if you want to get a divorce, then there are a series of steps you must take to open a case in your local county courthouse, including filing a divorce petition and related paperwork, serving such papers on your wife (or serving by "publication" if her whereabouts cannot be discovered), and a variety of other steps (depending on the specific facts of your case) to finalize the case, including resolving asset and debt division issues. In the meantime, I'd suggest staying current on the debts or trying to make arrangements with the creditors if you cannot afford to stay current. Just because your wife left does not waive your obligation to pay debts in which you have a contract with the creditor. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    You can file for a dissolution. Pre-packaged packets of forms are available at most Courthouses. Some Counties offer the services of a Court Facilitator to answer questions and to help you fill out the forms. Check with your local Clerk's Office. You might have an issue serving your ex-wife, but there are steps you can take to serve her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You should probably speak to a divorce attorney as soon as possible. Feel free to give my office a call for a free consult.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon, you may be best to file either for a separation or divorce. I would recommend a divorce for several reasons that I will not go into at this time. Call for more details.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In California, there is no legal action for abandonment. If you are interested in obtaining a divorce and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    It sounds like you should seek a dissolution of marriage. We offer a free initial consultation should you wish to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, you would file for Divorce or Legal Separation, then bring a motion for temporary orders as to payment of bills, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
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