What can I do about my husband abandoning me and our unborn child?
My husband left me and our unborn child. We were living in Tennessee and he moved to Arizona I am still in TN. He is not responding to me and I want a divorce. I can not afford attorney fees. He completely up and left me pregnant with nothing. No car,home, money or anything. What are my options? Can I get him for abandonment even though he left may 7 2016 and today is June 13 2016? Does he have any legal rights since he abandon us? And since there is a child involved when we do divorce does he have to come back to TN for the hearing?
5 attorney answers
Contact your local Bar Association, and inquire about legal aid or help offices. TN is a no-fault State, so you don't need to worry about what to list as the grounds for divorce.
Your husband will have rights to the child. Included in your divorce, you should petition for custody and child support.
Your county's bar association, and certainly the state's, should have resources for legal aid that will at the very least put you into contact with the right people. Tennessee is a no-fault divorce state, so you can file for divorce regardless of what is going on with him. A divorce action with children involved will examine all of your remaining questions. I would urge you to contact someone in the local legal community so that you can get some guidance. Best of luck.
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Hi. If you are able to get an uncontested divorce, then your husband will not have to come back to TN for the final divorce hearing. However, that is dependent upon him agreeing to all of the terms in the Marital Dissolution Agreement (which addresses the division of marital property) and the Permanent Parenting Plan (which addresses child custody and child support). TN also offers pendente lite support, which provides support for you and your unborn child while the divorce is pending. So, if your husband is working in Arizona and has medical insurance, he could be ordered by the court to cover your medical care. There is much to discuss in your case, but it can't be done online. Please contact legal aid in your area for help. PWK
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This isn't legal advice but it sounds like you need a lot of assistance. Is there a local church (Catholic Charities, perhaps?) that can give you some financial help, clothing, and food? Maybe also reach out to a local crisis pregnancy center who might be able to give you some baby clothes and supplies.
Divorces in most judicial districts in Tennessee are filed in Chancery Court. You should file a divorce complaint alleging all grounds available to you. Abandonment and inappropriate marital conduct may apply to your case. I would also allege irreconcilable differences just in case he comes back to Tennessee to defend the action and y'all end up settling. Since he is in Arizona, you may not be able to serve him personally with the divorce complaint. In the event you cannot, you should perfect service by publication. If he does not file an answer to the complaint within 30 days after service is perfected, you should file a motion for default judgment requesting the court grant you the relief you want. The Court can grant you a default judgment and divorce you without your husband's presence or participation in the lawsuit. You typically get what you ask for in these situations. This is a complicated process. You should consult an attorney. If you cannot find the money for an attorney, you should do as my colleagues have suggested and call the legal aid office in your area for assistance.