sad guy at table

When you are ready to file for divorce from a spouse with mental health issues, you might have some questions. Can the mental health issues of you or your spouse affect the proceedings? If so, how? Our Sparta divorce attorneys can answer your questions and help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Can a Spouse’s Mental Health Issue Stop a Divorce?

Some people worry that a spouse can use their mental health issues to put a stop to a divorce. There is no way to hold up divorce proceedings by pleading insanity or anything like that.

If your spouse is going through serious problems, they might need to have a guardian appointed to represent their interests. This is more likely to occur in cases when they must enter a mental health facility. A divorce can still proceed though, as long as the court believes that their interests are still being addressed, the guardian is able to represent them, and that everything remains on a fair playing field.

Can Mental Health Issues Affect How Marital Assets Are Split?

It is possible that mental health issues will affect how marital assets are split. New Jersey uses an “equitable distribution” principle. This means that assets are divided in a fair way, even if that does not necessarily mean a complete 50/50 split.

A spouse with mental illness could end up receiving more or less of the marital property. If they are unable to work due to their issues, they could end up getting a greater share of the assets. This could also result in the court ordering that extra alimony be paid to the spouse with health problems.

In some scenarios, that spouse might actually receive fewer assets. This can happen if their issues are considered one of the main reasons for the marriage failing. If the ill spouse does not try to get treatment, they could be penalized for that by receiving a smaller share of the assets or less generous alimony payments.

Can Mental Health Issues Prevent Me From Getting Child Custody?

If you have mental health issues and want custody of your child, is that even a possibility? Yes, because a parent’s mental health is not the only thing factored in when child custody agreements are being hashed out. A judge could also consider:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The age and health of each parent
  • The child’s adjustment to school and their community

The goal here is to look out for the child’s best interests. A parent struggling with mental illness can still secure visitation or even custody rights.

Talk to Our Legal Team

If you are filing for divorce, make sure that you have a competent attorney on your side. Contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC and schedule an appointment with our team. We can tell you more about how our experienced lawyers can be of assistance.