Do Mental Health Issues Affect A Divorce?

Posted on: 18 August 2021

Mental health concerns impact every aspect of an individual's life. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that this type of medical condition can have an influence on the divorce process. If you or your spouse has been diagnosed with a mental health concern, learn more about what type of an impact you should anticipate.

Legal Acknowledgement

Depending on the type of mental health diagnosis there is, you may need to inform the court of the medical condition. This is particularly crucial if the condition impacts day-to-day life and decision-making abilities. If you are the individual who has the condition you can inform the court. However, if it is your spouse, you may not be able to disclose this information to the court, as it could be a HIPPA violation.


Again, if the medical condition affects your, or your ex's, decision-making abilities, the court will generally require consent before the divorce can move forward. The court will not require the individual to consent to the terms of the divorce but instead, consent to the fact that they are aware of what the legal documents mean and are capable of moving forward with the process. The court may not move forward with any legal proceeding with an individual who is incapable of this consent.

Child Custody

For the individual who has been diagnosed with a mental health concern, it is possible that this diagnosis can affect the child custody agreement. Depending on the severity of the diagnosis, the court may not award custody to the individual or they may limit custody to a supervised status. If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, an attorney can inform you on how the matter might impact your divorce.


Given all that is involved, you can save yourself a world of trouble if you exercise patience. First, remember the court may not move forward with the divorce proceeding until the diagnosed party has consented to the process. So, the divorce may take longer than normal. Second, although divorce may be the present circumstance, it does not mean that you cannot have compassion for your ex. If they have a setback or other health concern and need extra time, being patient is always helpful.

It does not matter what side of the situation you find yourself on—you can be impacted. Speak with a divorce attorney for a better idea of what to expect.