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A Common Sense Approach To

Navigating divorce when your spouse is mentally ill

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2024 | Divorce |

Navigating divorce in New Jersey with a spouse who has a mental illness can make ending your marriage more complex. While each situation is unique, here are some ways of making the process easier.

Prioritize communication and empathy

Maintaining open and empathetic communication is crucial when dealing with a spouse’s mental health issues during divorce. Approach conversations with patience and understanding, acknowledging the impact of mental health on both parties. Encourage honest dialogue to address concerns, fears and potential solutions.

Consult mental health professionals

Incorporating mental health professionals into the divorce process can provide valuable insights and support, especially if your spouse’s mental health issues become more intense. Individual counseling for both spouses can help them navigate the emotional toll of the divorce, while couples counseling may facilitate healthier communication and conflict resolution.

Establish clear boundaries

Setting clear and respectful boundaries can help you manage the challenges associated with mental health issues. Clearly define expectations regarding communication, shared responsibilities and decision-making to create a sense of stability amid the emotional turmoil.

Prepare for custody and support considerations

When mental health issues are present, custody and support arrangements may require careful consideration. Work with mental health experts to develop plans that prioritize the well-being of any children involved while considering the needs of a parent who has a mental illness.

Protect yourself and the children

Since the divorce process can bring up some strong emotions and be extremely taxing, those suffering from conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder, can experience very intense feelings of stress, fear and rejection that can drive them to commit unspeakable acts. For example, they can make false accusations that can cause serious reputational damage and result in unnecessary legal trouble. Keep records of all communication and document any erratic behaviors you notice from your spouse. Have all conversations with a neutral person present and remain in public places. Do not isolate yourself. Having a supportive team is critical.

Though your journey will be difficult, you can overcome these difficulties. You’ll be able to move on with your life and make positive choices for your future.

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