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Lutins & Pilgreen, PC - Family, Criminal law
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How are mental health issues viewed in the context of divorce?

Going through marital struggles can be extremely difficult and can take a harsh toll on any person’s well-being. It can alter your perception of reality, and it may leave you feeling angry, anxious or depressed. It’s no coincidence that many people going through a divorce are suffering with mental health issues.

Mental health issues may be a trigger for a divorce, or they may arise as the result of marital tensions. Existing issues may also become worsened during a hard time in the marriage. If you or your spouse is suffering from mental health problems, it is important that the affected person first seek guidance from a medical professional.

If you are considering filing for a divorce with a spouse who is suffering from a mental illness, it is likely that you will be feeling conflicted in regard to what action you should take. There are many emotional aspects to a divorce that you will need to assess before making a decision. However, there are also legal aspects that might be affected by the existence of a mental illness. It is important that you understand how a mental illness might affect your divorce.

How a mental illness might affect your divorce settlement

In Virginia, an at-fault divorce might be successfully claimed on the grounds of insanity. This might help the healthy spouse to avoid having responsibility for the breakdown of the marriage. Alternatively, a no-fault divorce could be sought.

A divorcing spouse suffering from a mental illness will likely require financial support after the divorce has been finalized. This means that it is likely that the healthy spouse will have alimony obligations.

How a divorce might affect child custody

A mental illness is no reason for a parent to lose access to their child. The only reason why a parent might lose custody is if they pose a risk to the child in question. A child custody arrangement will be made in accordance with the child’s best interests.

If you are considering a divorce in Virginia, it is important that you learn more about how the law will apply to your specific situation.

J. Emmette Pilgreen IV
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