Mental illness can have a profound impact on every aspect of a person's life, including his or her marriage. When your spouse suffers from a mental illness, sometimes, it can be challenging to remain in the relationship. If you are considering divorce from a mentally ill spouse, here is what you need to know.
Can You Divorce Someone for Mental Illness?
In some states, citing mental illness as a reason for divorce means taking extra steps to get through the court system. For instance, you might be required to obtain a doctor's certification stating that your spouse is mentally ill to rely on this reasoning. The steps necessary can vary by state. Check your state's laws to determine what steps are necessary.
It is important to note that many states offer the option of filing for a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce does not require that any reason for the breakup be stated. If you and your spouse do not share children or if you do not have concerns about him or her helping to raise the children, this is an option.
What If You Share Children?
If you share children with your spouse, whether or not he or she is able to positively contribute to their rearing can be a concern. Regardless of how you and your spouse feel about the situation, it is important to remember that the family court's focus is what is in the best interests of the children.
The court will take into consideration your spouse's mental illness, treatment, and mental history to determine how it influences custodial matters. If you are concerned about your spouse's ability to provide a safe environment for the children due to his or her mental illness, inform the court. Any evidence that you have, such as police reports, should be submitted to the court for review.
Having a mental illness does not automatically mean that your spouse will not have shared or sole custody of the children. If your spouse can prove that he or she is capable of providing the children with a safe environment and that he or she is willing to take the necessary actions to take care of his or her mental health, the court might be hesitant to restrict his or her rights.
Your divorce attorney, such as those found at Garrett & Silvey Law Firm, can help you determine the best course of action to take when dealing with a spouse with mental illness.
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