Legal Definition of abandonment
1 : the act of abandoning property or a right: as a : relinquishment by an inventor of the right to enforce a patent — see also dedication b : an author's relinquishment to the public domain of his or her copyrighted work c : relinquishment of a trademark established by a failure to use the trademark and an intention never to resume use d : the act of an insured in surrendering all rights to damaged or lost property to an insurer as a total loss — compare salvage 2b e : relinquishment by a trustee in bankruptcy of interest in property in the bankruptcy estate often for a nominal sum
2 : the act of abandoning a person: as a : failure to have contact with a spouse that is intended to create a permanent separation b : failure to communicate with or provide financial support for one's child over a period of time that shows a purpose to forgo parental duties and rights
3 : the act of abandoning a contract
4a : the act of abandoning a course of action (as a crime) b : the affirmative defense (as recognized under the Model Penal Code) of voluntary withdrawal from the commission of a crime resulting from the actor's change of heart and not from intervening circumstances
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