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How do you divorce someone with a mental health disorder?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Divorce

If you are married to someone with a mental health disorder, you need to be extra careful when dissolving the marriage to have a smooth process. It’s vital to employ patience, compassion, love and understanding as you did in your marriage.

Here are some tips to consider:

Wait for the right time to tell them about the divorce

It’s crucial to wait for an appropriate time to inform any spouse about a divorce. However, if your spouse is living with a mental health disorder, you need to confirm they are in the right mind to tell them you want a divorce. Chances are, by now, you can tell when they are mentally and emotionally stable versus when they are struggling. 

Doing this ensures you initiate the conversation when your spouse is in control of their thought and actions. Accordingly, they can cooperate in the discussion. 

Fight the guilt

Divorcing someone with a mental disorder can result in guilt. You may feel guilty for not helping them as you hoped when you got married and for divorcing someone who needs support. You may also be worried about how your spouse will live after the divorce and how they will support your kid(s) if you have any. Further, you may feel guilty for deciding to look for your happiness.

You may want to consider therapy, whether together or alone, to help you deal with any issues, such as the guilt or worry you might feel. Dealing with them can help you to make better decisions. Divorcing a spouse with a mental health disorder can be complicated. Obtain adequate information to have an amicable process. 

Remain patient

Above all: remain patient. Your spouse may (often unintentionally) make the separation and divorce process more difficult because of their mental health situation. This can mean your separation and divorce takes longer to resolve than one where all parties are mentally healthy. Remember that they are not operating at their best, and do your best to treat them with grace.

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