How to Address Mental Health Issues During Your Divorce

 Posted on January 12, 2021 in Divorce Issues

divorced dads lawyer mental illnessMental illness is an issue that has been on many people’s minds over the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people and families to experience extreme levels of stress. Those who were already struggling with mental health concerns may have found it difficult to deal with additional problems related to safety issues and economic concerns, and political issues, widespread protests, and other events certainly haven’t helped. Even those who have never experienced issues such as depression or anxiety may have found themselves struggling to deal with everything that has been happening, and in some cases, this has led to the breakdown of relationships between married spouses.

While divorce can be difficult in any situation, it is likely to be even more complex if either you or your spouse has a mental illness. Whether these issues were the primary reason for the end of your marriage or are just one of multiple stresses on your relationship, you’ll want to be sure to understand the role that mental health may play during the divorce process.

Divorce Considerations Related to Mental Illness

Mental illness can take a variety of forms, and depending on whether a person is receiving treatment and managing their symptoms, these conditions may or may not play a significant role in a divorce. In some cases, a spouse may raise concerns about the safety of themself or their children, especially if the other party is acting erratically or has been unable to provide the proper care during their parenting time. In other cases, a spouse may exhibit narcissism, leading them to prolong conflict, act manipulatively, or even make false accusations of domestic violence or abuse.

If your spouse has been diagnosed with a mental illness, you’ll need to determine whether it is a good idea to raise these issues during your divorce. If a parent has been managing their mental health effectively, these concerns may not be a factor that will need to be addressed. However, if your spouse has acted unsafely around you or your children or committed any form of parental alienation, you may need to bring these issues to the court’s attention. If necessary, a judge may grant you primary custody of your children or place restrictions on your ex, such as requiring supervision to be present during parenting time.

If, on the other hand, you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you will want to show that you are receiving the proper treatment. You can provide documentation that you are regularly seeing a psychiatrist and/or therapist and that you are taking your prescribed medications. You may also be able to receive statements from family members or others to show that you are fully capable of caring for your children and providing for their needs during your parenting time.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

As you proceed with ending your marriage, you’ll want to be sure to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you address mental health issues properly. Your attorney can make sure decisions about child custody will protect your children’s safety and best interests. They can also help you determine whether mental illness will affect issues such as the division of marital property, spousal support, or child support. By handling these issues properly, you can be sure your rights will be protected and that you will be prepared for success once your divorce has been completed.



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