What Should I Know About Mental Health Issues & Divorce?

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Having a spouse who suffers from mental health issues can make a divorce more complicated, but do not worry. Our Bergen County divorce attorneys can help you navigate this process and fight for the best possible outcome. This is what you need to know before you file any paperwork.

Can Mental Health Issues Prevent a Spouse From Getting Child Custody or Visitation Rights?

In some cases, yes. The court’s priority is always going to be the well-being of the child. A judge can look at a wide range of factors before deciding who gets custody and what kind of visitation agreement can be worked out. Their criteria could include:

  • The age and developmental needs of the child
  • What kind of relationship the child already has with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide stability and meet a child’s needs
  • If either parent has a history of domestic violence
  • The age and health of each parent

The court can also look into the spouse with mental health issues and determine whether or not they are taking serious steps to deal with their problems. A parent who is making a real effort is likely to secure more time with their children.

How Can Mental Health Problems Affect How Property is Divided?

Having a spouse with mental health issues can also affect how property is divided. There are two possibilities:

Your spouse gets more of the marital property: This can happen when it looks as if your spouse will not be able to support themselves financially or maintain their lifestyle. They could end up getting more of the marital assets so that they can continue to provide for themselves and the children, when they are in their care. You may also need to pay alimony.

Your spouse gets a smaller share of the marital assets: This can happen if you blame your spouse’s untreated mental health issues for your marriage ending. In some cases, you may be able to make an argument that you deserve more due to what you have experienced. In other cases, a spouse with mental illness can end up wasting marital assets, and that ends up reflecting poorly on them during the property division process.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Even if you do not end up handling most of your divorce negotiations through litigations, having an experienced family law attorney on your side can be helpful. Your lawyer will answer any questions that you have and they will help you make persuasive arguments when important topics like child custody and property division are being discussed.

Meet With Our Team Today

If you are ready to move forward with your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a free and confidential consultation that will give you the chance to learn more about what we can do to assist you.

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