Abandonment laws in Pennsylvania can have a significant impact on a child custody or divorce proceeding, particularly when it comes to the issue of desertion. In Pennsylvania, abandonment is defined as the willful desertion or neglect of a minor child by a parent or guardian, or the willful failure of a parent or guardian to provide necessary care, support, or protection for a minor child.

Abandonment Vs Desertion

When it comes to divorce proceedings, desertion can be grounds for granting a divorce. The court must find that the desertion has been continuous and unbroken for a period of at least six months, and that the deserting spouse has left the other spouse with no reasonable expectation of reconciliation. The court may also consider the mental and emotional impact of the desertion on the other spouse, as well as any financial hardship that the desertion has caused. If the court finds that desertion has occurred, it will typically grant a divorce on the grounds of desertion.

In child custody proceedings, desertion can also be a factor that the court may consider when determining the best interests of the child. The court will consider the impact of the desertion on the child and may also consider any financial hardship that the desertion has caused. If the court finds that the desertion has had a significant impact on the child, it may choose to award custody to the non-deserting parent.

Abandonment Laws in PA

In Pennsylvania, a parent who abandons a child can be subject to criminal charges, including felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the parent may be sentenced to prison and/or be required to pay restitution to the child.

Abandonment laws in Pennsylvania can have a profound effect on a child custody or divorce proceeding. If a parent has abandoned a child, the court may take this into account when determining the best interests of the child and, in the case of a divorce, may be grounds for granting a divorce. It is important to understand the laws in Pennsylvania and to seek legal advice if you have any questions or concerns.