When your spouse has mental health issues, you may do everything possible to support them through their challenges. However, this can put a considerable strain on your marriage, and divorce may be your only option. If you’re looking to initiate a divorce, it’s essential to understand how this process works when one spouse has mental health issues. Keep reading to discover how your spouse’s mental illness will impact the outcome of your divorce and how a Morris County divorce & separation law firm can help you through this process.
If My Spouse Has Mental Health Issues, Can I Still Get a Divorce?
Many people are under the assumption that if a spouse claims insanity, they can avoid their divorce. While this may let some avoid criminal charges, it does not work for divorces. If your spouse has mental health issues, you can proceed. However, they will likely be granted additional protections.
If your spouse’s illness is severe and they reside in a mental health hospital, the courts will likely appoint them a guardian ad litem. This helps ensure that your spouse’s best interest is considered during this process if they cannot care for themselves or protect their rights. These guardians are typically lawyers who understand the complexities of this situation.
Will My Spouse’s Issues Impact the Outcome of Our Divorce?
In some instances, the severity of your spouse’s mental illness will be considered when going through a divorce.
One of the most common outcomes is that your spouse cannot work or support themselves due to their mental health. As a result, the courts may grant them more marital assets to help support them. Similarly, you may be ordered to pay a more significant share of alimony. It’s essential to note that this does not impact child support orders, as a parent has a financial obligation to their child regardless of their issues.
Another element you may worry about is what will happen to the custody of your children. Generally, mental health issues do not automatically mean the courts will revoke custody. Instead, they will consider several factors. For example, if your spouse cannot provide a safe and stable home or meet their child’s needs, likely, they will not receive custody, but supervised visitation may be allowed. A parent with mental health issues will have more obstacles to overcome if they want to retain custody.
Dealing with a spouse with severe mental health issues can be exceptionally challenging. As such, divorce may be the best option for you and your family. Unfortunately, many spouses who make this decision are overcome with guilt. As such, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney from Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn to help you navigate the complexities of this process. We understand how emotional these times can be, so we’re ready to guide you through. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.