Mental health issues can have a significant impact on marriage as spouses often can no longer endure the blowbacks caused by mental illness, such as abuse, impulsivity, financial mismanagement, and other serious problems. Divorce is never easy. However, divorcing a spouse with incurable sanity can be even more complex as you will face unique challenges. When contemplating divorcing your spouse, you may wonder whether your spouse’s mental health condition will keep you from ending your marriage. Please continue reading to learn how your spouse’s mental health issues can affect the outcome of your divorce, and discover how a dependable Garden City Divorce Lawyer can help you navigate your legal options. 

Is it possible for my spouse’s mental health issues to prevent me from obtaining a divorce?

In New York, when filing for a divorce, you must state the reasoning, otherwise known as the grounds for the divorce. Essentially, you are stating the reason for the marriage’s breakdown. Depending on your circumstances, you may pursue a no-fault or fault-based divorce. Seeking a no-fault divorce is often a more straightforward process, as you do not have to prove the cause of the dissolution of the marriage, as you can plead irreconcilable differences were the cause of the union’s demise. However, seeking a fault-based divorce is more complex, as you’ll have to prove the grounds cited as the cause of the marriage’s breakdown. Despite your concerns, your spouse’s mental health issues cannot prevent you from obtaining a divorce, as you can cite incurable insanity as grounds for divorce. Nevertheless, it can slow down the process and affect the outcome of support, custody, and the division of assets.

In certain circumstances, when a spouse has a debilitating mental illness and has been declared mentally incompetent, the court will appoint a legal guardian to make decisions to ensure someone of sound mind can advocate for their rights and interests. This is primarily because, during divorce proceedings, mental health conditions can significantly impact the decisions made regarding the critical terms that will apply to the termination of the marriage.

How can it affect the outcome of my divorce?

In most cases, when an individual suffers from severe mental health issues, it can diminish their ability to support themselves and their family. That said, during property distribution, the court may award a larger share of a couple’s marital assets in cases where their condition prevents them from working or makes it challenging to keep employment. Moreover, regardless of whether a spouse suffers from mental health issues, they are still legally obligated to support their children financially. Therefore, the court may award an additional share of the couple’s marital property to cover child support costs.

Furthermore, your spouse’s mental health issue can affect the court’s decision on the custody of your children. The court will consider several factors when determining a child custody order, including whether a parent suffers from a severe mental health condition. A mental health condition will not preclude an individual from being involved in a child’s life unless it has been proven that the child’s safety and overall well-being are negatively affected by the mental health condition. This is because New York prioritizes the best interests of a child.

Although you may feel guilt about ending your marriage due to your spouse’s mental health issues, you may be left with no choice as you’ve exhausted your other options. For more information on divorcing a spouse with mental health issues, contact a compassionate lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C. today.