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How can mental health affect a divorce?

Nearly every situation that comes into family court can take a turn for the worse. Divorce is no different and occasionally results in the dirty laundry of both spouses being aired in the courtroom. While many complaints and allegations are of no consideration to the family court, the question of mental health can play a major role in divorce.

When it comes to divorce, every situation is different. And, depending on your situation, a mental health concern may impact several issues like custody, maintenance and visitation. If for example, there is reason to believe the mental health of either parent makes them unfit to care for their children, the family court may award custody to the other parent, or may even require visitation be supervised. Likewise, if either spouse suffers from a mental health disorder making them unable to work, the family court may require the other spouse pay spousal support to cover their care.

While the real diagnosis of a mental health issue can significantly impact an individual's divorce, so can the false allegation of one. Allegations of a mental health issue typically prompt the family court to look into the matter further. This may include independent evaluations, psychological exams and home visits, all of which can lengthen divorce proceedings and incur costs. If the family court finds that these measures have been taken to thwart false allegations, they may be less likely to work with the accusing parent.

If you are concerned about how a mental health issue may impact the outcome of your divorce, you may benefit by working with an experienced family law attorney. With their help, a case can be made to support your requests for custody and maintenance, which may help you receive a more favorable outcome.

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