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Could Your Mental Illness Affect Your Divorce in California?

Posted on: September 17, 2018

Could Your Mental Illness Affect Your Divorce in California?

Statistics from the National Institute on Mental Health show that around ten million people in the United States have a mental illness. This leaves one in five people affected. The truth is that these mental illnesses can affect a marriage and as a result they can affect divorce proceedings. In fact, they can affect everything from spousal support to child custody. Read on to learn more and then contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 for a family law consultation.

Mental illness can affect divorce in a number of ways

The reality is that every divorce is different and every mental health issue is different. As a result, it is impossible to give accurate statements about how a mental illness will affect a particular divorce. That said, there are a few things you should know.

How Mental Illness Can Affect a Divorce Settlement

A bitter spouse can swear to get even when they get to court because of their spouse’s mental illness, but more often than not they’re wrong. In fact, the spouse may get the opposite of what they anticipated. If the mentally ill spouse is a kind, loving parent and their mental illness does not get in the way of their parenting, the court could order the healthy spouse to pay spousal support and child support, and they may not award the healthy spouse primary custody.

Not all situations warrant concern

When a person suffers from depression, anxiety, or another typical mental illness and takes medication to treat it, then it may not apply at all to their divorce. However, more serious conditions can have a huge impact on a person’s ability to care for themselves or their child. Some mental illnesses that should be treated very seriously include psychosis, schizophrenia, paranoid personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and multiple personality disorder.

If you are not sure if a situation warrants concern, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the mental illness affect their ability to parent?
  • Does the mental illness increase the chance of spouse abuse or child abuse?
  • Are children involved in the family like to be neglected due to the mental illness?
  • Does the mental illness affect their ability to care for themselves both financially and in non-financial ways.

Get help from an experienced attorney

It can be hard not to make emotional decisions on issues like child custody, divorce, and spousal support. That is just one of the reasons you should talk to an attorney. When you contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 we can assess the situation in an unbiased way. We can offer honest, straightforward advice to outline your options. We can help you handle a difficult situation in the correct way. Reach out today to learn how to move forward.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA