abandonment,n.1. The relinquishing of a right or interest with the intention of never again
claiming it. • In the context of contracts for the sale of land, courts sometimes use the term
abandonment as if it were synonymous with rescission, but the two should be distinguished. An
abandonment is merely one party’s acceptance of the situation that a nonperforming party has
caused. 2.Family law. The act of leaving a spouse or child willfully and without an intent to return.
• Child abandonment is grounds for termination of parental rights. Spousal aban-donment is
grounds for divorce. Cf. DESERTION. [Cases: Divorce 37; Infants 157. C.J.S. Divorce §§ 20,
“The lines of distinction between abandonment and the many forms of child neglect are often
not very clear so that failure to support or to care for a child may sometimes be characterized as
abandonment and sometimes as neglect.” Homer H. Clark Jr., The Law of Domestic Relations in
the United States § 20.6, at 895 (1988).
[Blacks Law 8th]