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West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney > Blog > Divorce > Mental Illness and Pursuing a Divorce

Mental Illness and Pursuing a Divorce


When a spouse is coping with mental health issues, it can add another layer of complexity to the divorce process. If you are pursuing a Florida divorce and there are mental health issues involved, connect with a West Palm Beach family attorney to discuss unique legal considerations that need to be explored. Skilled divorce lawyers understand what is required in situations involving mental illness and know how to provide valuable guidance with empathy.

Legal Considerations When Separating from a Spouse with Mental Illness

Mental illness can significantly impact a person’s ability to maintain a healthy and functional relationship, this could result from emotional instability, behavioral challenges, or difficulties in communication and decision-making. Many report these issues strain a marriage, and for some this ultimately leads to a decision to separate and pursue divorce.

When mental illness is a factor in a divorce, there are several legal considerations that need to be addressed.

  • Grounds for divorce. There are a few different grounds for divorce in Florida and one of them is mental incapacity. This only is applicable if one spouse has been deemed mentally incapacitated for a period of at least three years.
  • Property division. If mental health issues have impacted a person’s ability to work, resulting in financial disparities, this will be taken into account during the property and asset division process.
  • Custody of minor children. When it comes to child custody and visitation, a Florida court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. If there is evidence that one spouse’s mental health issues affect their ability to provide a stable environment for the child, custody arrangements will reflect that inability to provide a safe home.
  • If a spouse’s mental illness has made it difficult to impossible for them to care for themselves, the court may appoint a guardian, an adult who is trusted to make decisions on their behalf.

When dealing with mental illness in divorce proceedings, it is crucial for all parties involved to approach the situation with compassion. Mental illness is a sensitive and delicate issue, and understanding the specific challenges faced by the individual who is struggling can help foster a more constructive and amicable divorce process.

Exploring the Role of a Divorce Lawyer

A skilled Florida divorce lawyer who has experience in cases involving mental illness can explain legal grounds for divorce, guide clients through the necessary documentation, and ensure all legal requirements are met. An attorney will do all of this while advocating for their client’s interests, especially when it comes to property division, spousal support, child custody, and visitation arrangements, all while considering the impact of mental illness on these matters.

Seasoned West Palm Beach family attorneys also have connections with experts who can support individuals through the divorce process, including mental health professionals, such as therapists or psychologists, who can help strategize the best legal approach.

How has mental illness impacted your marriage? If you have been considering divorcing a spouse with mental health issues, talk to the legal team at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates. Book your free initial consultation today.

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