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Tips for Divorcing Someone with Mental Illness

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_mental-illness-divorce-naperville.jpgDivorce is always difficult. However, divorcing someone who is suffering from mental illness can be all the more difficult—and has the potential to even become dangerous. There are several mental health issues that can lead to divorce, or contribute to a reason for it. Sex addiction, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental instabilities, such as bipolar or borderline personality, can all make a marriage impossible to sustain in the long run, or even temporarily. Other situations in which one partner suffers from a less definable mental illness, such as someone who is severely passive-aggressive or a narcissist, can be just as delicate to navigate during a divorce.

When it comes to process of marital dissolution, spouses who are dealing with a partner suffering from mental illness will invariably face more challenges than those who are not. Some of these challenges can include aggressive legal strategies or, in some cases, even stonewalling. If your spouse is a pathological liar, for example, it is imperative that you organize evidence and proof of any claims before entering the courtroom. When you are dealing with any person with mental illness, especially if you are the one who initiated a contested divorce, compromise, honesty, and fairness will not likely be part of the dealings. Because of this, you will need to seek legal assistance from a professional who is familiar with these types of cases.

One major reason that people remain married to a person with a mental illness, long after they feel it has run its course, is due to feelings of guilt and responsibility. While this can be seen as admirable, a spouse is no substitute for a professional caretaker or mental health worker. It can go the other way too, however—if you are divorcing someone with a mental health condition with whom you have children and he or she is able to take care of the children, it is important to avoid unreasonably denying co-parenting duties. Such decisions must be made only by the court, and attempting to make them on your own could create additional problems.

If you or someone you know is considering divorcing a spouse with a mental health condition, do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Naperville divorce attorney today. Call 630-352-2240 to schedule your free consultation with the Pesce Law Group.

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