Questions and Answers

Is abandonment illegal? What are my rights?

My husband abandoned me over a year ago, He is somewhere in Florida. I’m being evicted. Is abandonment illegal? What are my rights?

My husband left me while I was out of State attending a funeral. We were struggling with money like everyone else. He DID NOT tell me that our mortgage was 3 months behind. He told my son he was going to SC for a 4 day trip to visit a friend of his while I was gone. His return date passed. He made no calls to me. I was going to report him missing. My stepson was not returning my urgent calls as to where his father was. That was in 09/2009. Since then I found out he is living in Florida and employed. He HASN’T SENT MONEY, NOR GOT ME HEALTH COVERAGE. My father is paying all of my utilities, medicine(about $800-$1,000) a month. I am in bad health. I have food stamps now. Bank Foreclosed on the house,and I’m being evicted on Feb.3,2011. I don’t have another place to live. What rights do I have?

ANSWER

The longer you wait the bigger these problems can become and you’ve waited since Sept. 2009.

At this point, you have the right to file for divorce and ask the Court to award you alimony, health insurance coverage, mortgage contribution, and/or a monetary award. Also if you have a child with him you can ask for custody and child support. Still, it will take months before the Court can order any of these things so you will need to figure out how you can pay your bills in the meantime — and the Court cannot do anything until and unless you file for divorce and get him served. You’d be wise to talk to your mortgage lender about your options or talk to a foreclosure attorney to stop the eviction. MD Legal Aid Bureau or MD Volunteer Lawyer Service has a foreclosure prevention project that may be able to help you.

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