Divorce is never an easy decision. However, there are unique challenges that might develop when one spouse is afflicted with a mental illness, and the couple chooses to separate. The divorce proceedings and the ultimate conclusion of your case may be influenced by your relationship with your spouse, who has a mental illness.
Knowing what to expect is crucial before beginning. When contemplating divorce from a mentally ill spouse, you may have many questions and can look up a divorce attorney near me.
Divorce and Mental Health: What the Research Says
Some of the most often mentioned mental health issues in studies that led to divorce were:
- Manic depression,
- Clinical depression,
- Problems with anxiousness in general,
- Severe anxiety,
- As a result of traumatic events, and
- Drug or alcohol dependency.
Mental disease is neither preventable nor easily manageable. However, it is undeniable that a marriage can be significantly affected when one partner suffers from a mental condition.
In Alabama, May a Mental Illness be Used as a Basis for a Divorce?
Put simply, no. One of the specified reasons for divorce in Alabama is physical incapacity, not mental disease. The parties may pursue a variety of grounds for divorce in circumstances involving mental illness.
As an illustration, a for-cause divorce can be granted under Alabama Code Section 30-2-1 in cases:
- One or both partners develop a chronic substance abuse problem;
- The two people involved are temperamentally incompatible and so cannot coexist;
- For at least five years in a row, one partner has been a patient at a mental health facility;
One partner has either physically harmed the other or caused them to fear physical harm reasonably.
You can bolster your arguments for a divorce in any of these cases by providing evidence of a mental disorder.
Reasons to Think About Child Custody
The fundamental consideration for courts in determining child custody is the well-being of the child. Courts typically regard the child’s best interest as one of the factors. On the other hand, in cases when a parent suffers from a mental condition, the court might take into account things like:
- The health of the parent’s mind in general;
- Identifying the specific mental disorder(s) and their severity;
- How well each parent can keep their child safe and secure at home;
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s requirements; and
- The influence that a child’s mental disorder may have on their general health.