Desert means to intentionally abandon a person or thing. Some common uses of the term desert in a legal sense include:
- Cases such as this one from New Jersey explain that the term “desert” in the context of marriage and child support, usually has a broader meaning which extends to “a willful failure to provide food, or other basic necessities of life over and above mere shelter, to parties living in the same household.”
- The term “desert” in the context of child endangerment laws, usually requires a showing that the defendant had no intention to return for the child.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]