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Divorce due to mental illness


In criminal cases, insanity can act as a legal defense to certain criminal charges. Different states have different laws and certain factors a judge should consider when issuing support awards or determining physical custody arrangements, but generally mental illness plays the biggest role in support and custody rulings.

A multinational study of mental...

Specifically, mental health issues can interfere with your ability to support yourself or your family. A judge may award you additional alimony or a larger share of marital property or assets if your mental health prohibits you from working or makes it difficult to hold a job. No single factor is determinative in a custody case.

A judge will consider the above factors and many more. Parents with more severe mental health issues may face greater barriers to obtaining custody.


Under extreme circumstances, a mentally ill parent may lose his or her parental rights. Most individuals who have well-managed mental health issues will find that their mental health has little impact on a divorce.

For more questions about the impact of mental health issues in your case, contact a local family law attorney for advice. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site.

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