Divorce From a Mentally Ill Spouse

Divorce From a Mentally Ill Spouse

Being in a romantic relationship with a spouse who is mentally ill can be an extremely trying and potentially even devastating emotional experience. In some cases, divorce may seem like the only option for spouses who have grown apart from one another due to the problem. This is especially true in cases when mental health problems contribute to physically or emotionally abusive behaviors. It is important for spouses in this painful situation to understand that certain states have laws governing divorce and psychiatric diagnoses.

Steps to Take

The following steps should be taken if you choose to pursue a divorce from your spouse:

Research the laws governing your state. A few states do not list mental health problems as potential grounds for divorce; however, there will be other grounds you can use.

Make sure you meet all of the requirements of your jurisdiction. This means fulfilling all of the requirements your state mandates. If you are using psychiatric problems as a grounds for divorce, you may need official documentation of your spouse’s diagnosis and symptoms.

File a petition for divorce to being the legal process.

Undergo any court proceedings necessary to confirm the filing of the divorce.

Divorcing a psychologically unhealthy is a unique circumstance. The court may require a medical evaluation of your spouse to indicate that the illness is legitimate. In some states, psychiatric difficulties are not considered grounds for ending a marriage. In this case, you will likely need to cite “irreconcilable differences” as your reason for dissolving your union.