How Will My Spouse’s Mental Illness Impact Our Divorce?

woman holding head in her hands

Mental health is something that most people will struggle with at some point during their life. However, when this becomes severe, it can impact those around you. If when your spouse suffers from a mental illness, it may cause your marriage to deteriorate. Though unfortunate, it can lead to divorce. If this reflects your situation, ensuring you understand how this will proceed is vital. Keep reading to learn more about these circumstances and discover how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can assist you through these challenging times.

Can I Still Get Divorce if My Spouse is Mentally Ill?

Many assume that a spouse suffering from mental illness can avoid divorce by stating they are mentally ill. While the insanity plea may work for some criminals looking to evade charges, this is not true for divorcing spouses. If your spouse suffers from mental health issues, you can still proceed with the divorce process.

In some instances, the court may appoint your spouse a guardian ad litem. This is an officer of the court, typically a lawyer, who will act on behalf of your spouse. This ensures your spouse is well represented during the case, especially if they cannot to act on their own behalf. Most commonly, these guardians are appointed for those who are housed in mental health facilities.

Will My Spouse’s Mental Illness Affect The Outcome of Our Divorce?

If your spouse struggles with mental health issues, understanding how it will impact the outcome of your divorce is essential. To begin, your spouse’s condition may mean they cannot work and thus are unable to support themselves. As such, it’s not uncommon for some courts to order the stable spouse to pay more alimony to help their spouse. However, if you have children, it’s essential to understand that your spouse will still have to pay child support regardless, as it is the responsibility of both parents to financially support their child.

However, the most significant impact comes in the form of child custody. There is nothing that says your spouse will not be able to keep custody if they suffer from a mental illness. However, the courts will consider whether or not the other parent can provide a safe and stable environment for their child based on the severity of their illness.

Unfortunately, many spouses of individuals who suffer from mental illness feel overwhelming guilt when they file for divorce. As such, it may influence their decisions and could inhibit judgment. It’s essential to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group to help you stay objective to guide you through this complex process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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