Elkouri Heath, PLC


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Divorcing a Mentally Ill Spouse

 Posted on December 06, 2023 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerThe vast majority of people who suffer from a mental illness live perfectly normal lives and form perfectly normal and healthy relationships. However, some severe mental illnesses can make it very difficult to remain married to a sufferer. If your spouse has serious mental health issues and you can no longer wait for them to start taking treatment seriously, divorce can give you the legal protections you need to make a clean break. Divorcing someone with major mental health issues can be challenging in a number of ways. They may make you feel as if you are “abandoning” them or make empty gestures like making a therapy appointment they do not intend to follow through with. It may also try to prevent or stall the divorce - or at least make it as difficult as possible for you. Good legal representation is important in these cases. It is best to have your divorce managed by an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer

Avoiding Efforts to Make You Stay

When your spouse realizes that their refusal to address their mental health issues has driven you to divorce them, they are very likely to resist the divorce. Their first attempt is likely to involve emotional manipulation. They may cry and beg you to stay, promise to start taking treatment seriously, or even threaten to self-harm if you follow through with the divorce. It is important to be prepared for this when you file for divorce. Your attorney may suggest you find a safe place to stay temporarily or get a protection order before filing. The less opportunity your spouse has to manipulate you, the better. 

Legal Stalling Tactics 

If your spouse realizes that they cannot talk you into calling off the divorce, they might resort to using legal tactics to delay your divorce. They may agree to mediation, make an appointment, and fail to attend. They may try to convince the judge that you do not have irreconcilable differences and are not entitled to a divorce, although this strategy is incredibly unlikely to work. 

They may threaten to do things that would embarrass you in court, like accusing you of abuse that never happened or showing “evidence” that would serve no real purpose but to “make you look bad,” such as a photograph of you appearing drunk at a party. Courts almost always see through these acts, and the rules of evidence prohibit your spouse from introducing evidence that does not help prove a disputed and relevant point. 

Contact a Novi, MI, Divorce Lawyer

Elkouri Heath, PLC is experienced in helping people escape harmful marriages to mentally ill spouses. Our skilled Oakland County, MI, divorce attorneys will do all we can to ensure you make a clean break. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation. 

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