Mental Health Diagnosis and Impact on Illinois Divorce Outcomes

Posted by Erin Birt | Nov 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

A significant mental health diagnosis or guardianship might result in procedural, emotional, and financial complications during an Illinois Divorce. In a previous post, Mental Health Questions to Ask Your Illinois Divorce Attorney, I discussed questions you need to immediately ask your divorce attorney. In this post, we will highlight some mental health related issues that you should expect during your divorce process.

Illinois Divorce, Mental Health Disorder, and Maintenance

If a person has been impacted by a significant mental health disorder for a long period of time and has been unable to work, an Illinois Court might order permanent maintenance and other financial contributions for the person to seek appropriate treatment. You will need to discuss with your divorce attorney how to bring a mental health issue to the courts attention while protection your rights.  You also do not want to violate the privacy rights of the other party or you will be held responsible for any damages.

How to Know if it is a Mental Health Issue

It can be difficult to tell a person impacted by depression, bipolar, or psychological distress that a divorce is being considered. If working directly with the person's therapist, doctor, and divorce attorney is not possible, certain pre-divorce plans should be made.  Sometimes it is the safest scenario to first move out, seek an order of protection or restraining order and then seek a trusted divorce attorney to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Mental Health Diagnosis and Impact on Illinois Divorce Outcomes

Sometimes a mental health diagnosis prevent a person from seeking a divorce in Illinois.  If the person is not able to care for oneself or enter into legally binding documents, it may be possible that person is not able to file or maintain a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Sometimes a mental health diagnosis means that permanent maintenance or financial contribution toward ongoing care is deemed appropriate.  Often, as severe mental health diagnosis impacts parenting a should be considered when negotiating a parenting plan agreement.

If your family is impacted by a Mental Health Diagnosis and it is impacting your desire for a positive Illinois Divorce outcome, contact us today to learn how we can protect you, your assets, and your finances all while providing your family the legal protection it needs.

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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