Mental Health and Divorce in Illinois

Posted by Erin Birt | Oct 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and serious psychological distress can increase the risk of divorce in Illinois. It is important for the person to receive the appropriate treatment and it is just as important that they have ongoing treatment and support during the divorce process.  In Illinois, over one million adults experienced serious psychological distress in the past 12 months.

Divorce Settlement Agreement

The Divorce Settlement Agreement, if one can be reached, will need to consider the following for the impacted person: financial support, the contribution to ongoing medical care, the allocation of assets to compensate for the reduced ability to maintain employment, and a parenting plan that ensures the children's safety.

Parenting Plans

Often specialists, such as the patient's current medical team can be consulted with if the person is capable of signing a valid waiver and all records are protected by the appropriate HIPPAA waivers and court orders.  Sometimes, during a divorce or custody matter, a parent can request a 215 mental health examination and recommend a specialist to perform the evaluation.  Other times, both parents will need to comply with psychological evaluations so that the Court can receive a recommendation for an appropriate parenting plan and allocation of parental decision responsibilities.

The divorce process can be impacted by a diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health disorder.  Such divorces need to be pre-planned, well prepared and handled with compassion and patience. Erin Birt's unique background as both an experienced divorce attorney and addictions counselor allows her to best handle complex divorce litigation.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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