Divorces rarely proceed smoothly, even when all parties are in agreement. When one of the parties has a mental illness such as depression, the process frequently becomes more stressful.
No-fault versus fault-divorce filings
If you are filing for divorce in West Virginia, you have the option to choose a fault-based or no-fault divorce. Grounds for fault-based divorce in West Virginia that may be related to your partner’s mental illness include:
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable insanity
- Desertion for six months or longer
- Chronic drunkenness or addiction
- Child abuse or neglect
If your spouse is struggling with mental health issues when you file for divorce, this can impact the way that spousal support is handled. The judge may find that the spouse with a mental illness needs greater help and therefore requires greater alimony. Alternatively, if a fault-based divorce finds that your spouse’s mental illness caused the divorce, you may be entitled to greater alimony.
If you truly believe that your spouse is unfit to provide safe care for the child, that is something that you should bring up in court. But simply having a mental illness is not enough to deny a parent custody. The court will take into consideration a number of factors when deciding custody matters, such as the ages of the children and each parent’s ability to provide stability combined with their history of violence or abuse.
Ultimately, the decision to file for divorce must take your own mental and physical health into consideration as well as the health of any children that you may have. Try to resist the urge to feel guilty about filing for divorce.