Abandonment, in law, the voluntary giving up of property or of certain rights. A person may give up personal property by discarding it and not reclaiming it. Anyone then may appropriate the property. Real property, such as land, however, is not subject to legal abandonment.

Abandonment also means the desertion of family. The abandonment of a child by a parent is a crime. Abandonment of a wife or husband may be a ground for divorce.