While mental health issues are hard on everyone, they can be particularly trying during a divorce. Not only can these issues cause a relationship to break, but they can also impact the divorce procedure and outcome.
If there is concern about the mental health of one of the spouses in a divorce, the judge will order a mental health evaluation to determine the fitness of each party. The courts will then consider the results when making decisions about the case.
Division of assets
For the most part, Texas is a “just and right” division state. This means the court will divide assets equitably, which may or may not be equal. If one spouse cannot work due to their mental health, the courts might disproportionally divide assets in their favor.
If the mental health issue is severe enough, the courts will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the ill party’s interests in the proceeding. This usually happens when one party is in a psychiatric hospital. This confinement is also grounds for divorce.
If one spouse cannot work due to mental health concerns, it may be more likely that the courts will require the other spouse to pay at least some alimony.
A mental illness does not negate child support. A court may order an income deduction from Social Security Disability benefits to pay child support to the custodial parent.
By recognizing how Texas courts view mental health during a divorce, divorcing couples can prepare for the impact such issues may have on their divorce.