Mental Health and Divorce in Fort Lee
Individuals, their attorneys, and courts may decide to consider a spouse’s mental health when determining a divorce settlement. Involving mental health in a divorce in Fort Lee is not meant to punish a spouse for their behavior during a marriage. Instead, mental health may be a consideration when determining a fair and equitable outcome for both parties in the divorce.
At Moskowitz Law Group, we understand that every divorce brings unique challenges that can require legal expertise. A compassionate divorce attorney can listen to a spouse’s needs and explain options for pursuing a divorce that best addresses mental health concerns.
Addressing Mental Health Concerns in a Divorce
Mental health may be a concern in a divorce because the court must ensure all parties are able to knowingly participate in and understand the consequences of divorce proceedings. Involving the issue of a spouse’s mental health in the divorce process may prolong the court process, as the court may require psychiatric evaluations. From there, the court may recommend a variety of treatments or strategies to ensure the affected spouse is mentally fit to participate in the proceedings. Litigants should follow all treatment recommendations so they are viewed as cooperative in the divorce process.
Divorcing spouses technically have the option to file for divorce on fault or no-fault grounds. Some couples in Fort Lee managing mental health problems choose to file on no-fault grounds to expedite the divorce process and maintain control over settlement decisions. However, there may be circumstances where someone’s mental health challenges over the course of a marriage serve as a basis for an at-fault divorce. A legal professional can explain the types of divorce available in Fort Lee and how mental health challenges may impact the separation process.
Mental Health Can Impact Many Aspects of Divorce
Just because one spouse suffers from a mental health issue does not mean they are subject to specific restrictions or requirements throughout the divorce process in Fort Lee. However, there are certain issues that may become more complex. While a person’s mental health does not impact their right to receive an equitable distribution of marital assets, some circumstances related to mental health issues could lead to disputes over marital property during a divorce. A spouse struggling with mental health and addiction may have dissipated marital assets, meaning they spent an excessive amount of shared assets without the knowledge or consent of their spouse. In these cases, a court may recommend actions to compensate the innocent spouse during their divorce. For example, courts may recommend placing a misappropriating spouse’s share of marital assets in a trust for the spouse’s child.
A parent’s mental health issues may also cause issues regarding child custody. Having mental health issues does not automatically mean a spouse loses their custodial rights. In fact, this outcome is only possible in the most severe circumstances where there is evidence a spouse has abused or neglected or otherwise severely adversely affected their children. In most cases, courts will allow at least some level of parenting time if the parent demonstrates they are taking active steps to manage their mental health. Courts may recommend co-parenting therapy sessions or supervised parenting time. The legal team at Moskowitz Law Group can review the circumstances of a marriage to help make determinations on property distribution and child custody that are in an entire family’s best interests.
A Fort Lee Attorney Can Provide Guidance on Divorces Involving Mental Health Issues
While a family law attorney is not a mental health professional, legal guidance during a divorce is essential for helping spouses understand their rights and the legal implications of settlement decisions. If you or your spouse believe it is important to bring mental health evaluations into your divorce, a family law attorney could protect your rights and advocate for an amicable and fair agreement on your behalf.
Our dedicated team at Moskowitz Law Group understands the sensitive and complex issues involved with mental health and divorce in Fort Lee and is prepared to provide compassionate support through every step of your proceedings. Call today to schedule your free consultation.