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How mental health issues can impact a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Divorce |

For some California couples who are ending their marriage, mental health issues can add to the existing challenges of this process. At best, this can make the divorce more difficult for both individuals and for any children involved. At worst, mental disorders can exacerbate the existing problems within the divorce and lead to serious consequences, up to and including allegations of abuse.

Effects during divorce

Some mental health disorders can manifest in multiple ways. For example, a person with depression might struggle to complete basic tasks to move the divorce forward while an individual with borderline personality disorder, panicked at the notion of being abandoned at the end of a marriage, might make false accusations against their spouse. People who struggle with their mental health might want to seek extra support during this time.

What to do

It is important for people going through a divorce to remember that they must comply with restraining orders even if they are based on false accusations. There are certain things an individual can do to protect themselves if the other spouse has mental health issues. These include documenting all unusual interactions, making sure to meet only in public so that there are witnesses to any altercations and making note of any hospitalizations or other incidents during or prior to the relationship that could be relevant to demonstrating the person’s issues. Working with a therapist can also help in better understanding the situation and developing tools to manage it. If children are involved, parents should do their best to focus on what is in their best interests.

As difficult as divorce can be, mental health issues can make it harder. Individuals in this situation should try to avoid responding to their spouse in emotional ways and focus instead on solutions.