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How Does Parental Mental Illness Factor Into an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 14, 2024 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerIt can often be stressful and complicated for parents to agree on how they will divide custody of their children as well as the other parental rights and responsibilities. It is common for parents to want more time with their children and to try to show the court that they can offer a good, safe environment for them. But what happens when someone has serious concerns about their spouse’s mental health and how it might factor into their divorce proceedings? An experienced Schaumberg, IL divorce lawyer can guide you through this challenging time.

How Can Mental Illness Impact Our Divorce Proceedings?

The state of Illinois follows the no-fault divorce model, meaning irreconcilable differences are the only legally recognized grounds for divorce. Therefore, a spouse’s mental illness will not be blamed for a couple splitting up, but it can bring up some challenges during the divorce process.

For example, if your spouse struggles with severe mental health issues, they may not have the capacity to understand or participate in the proceedings. They may lack the ability to carry out effective communication, decision-making, and emotional regulation, all of which are important when trying to determine what would be in a child’s best interest and how to move forward. Additionally, severe mental illness is often associated with financial difficulty stemming from the challenges of maintaining gainful employment, and this can add to the complexities they might face during your divorce.

What if I Question My Spouse’s Parenting Capability?

Some mental illnesses present in some circumstances but not others. Maybe you have seen your spouse’s mental issues impact their parenting, but they present themself in court as a mentally and emotionally healthy individual. You might worry about being forced into a shared custody arrangement that you do not think benefits your family.

In such cases, you might consider requesting a guardian ad litem, who is a professional assigned by the court to gather as much information as possible about children and parents through medical records, interviews, and other means. They are tasked with determining what is in the child’s best interests, and while the court does not exclusively take their observations into account, they are carefully considered. Custody evaluators and parent coordinators are other professionals often included in such cases, and they can certainly help in the efforts to reach a divorce settlement that would be the best outcome for your child.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney 

If you are considering divorce and concerned about how your spouse’s mental health will play a role, a compassionate Schaumberg, IL divorce lawyer can speak with you about these concerns and create a plan to address them. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 so we can work on navigating this sensitive situation while ensuring that your rights are protected.

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