What does this mean exactly?
spouse would leave mother and child for periods of time withoiut notice and return unannounced. Mother was left with washing machine leaking in basement not working or anyway to reach landlord because father had contact information for them. Spouse also spent money on business ventures when bills could not be paid, no money for food or new clothing for children. Would this be something valid to argue?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
It probably means something different to everyone who reads it. I know that is fustrating, but I don't believe there is any black letter law saying how long a parent has to be away to be considered abandonment. It depends on the circumstances. Argue it if you have the facts.
Family Law Attorney
If you believe that the other parent has abandoned your child/children or has refused to perform parental functions, be clear in your declaration what facts support your claim. If you do not have a family law attorney, you may want to consult with one in private. An attorney will be able to help you decide if you can take care of the case by yourself or if you should have counsel.