Dealing With Divorce When Mental Illness Is Involved

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIt can be a difficult and complex decision to divorce your spouse, who is ailing from a mental illness. The decision frequently involves ensuring that proper diagnosis and treatment are carried out for the affected spouse first. The healthy spouse also has to think about the logistics issues while separating and have a check on the emotions that they have for splitting from somebody who is not well. Plus, there could be strong guilt and social pressure that may act as an obstacle to take the final call on divorce. Perhaps, it is the outcome of exchanging wedding vows in a traditional ceremony.
While breakups are not easy, ending a relationship with a spouse suffering from a mental illness or a personality disorder can delay the decision of opting for a divorce. Now, that can be quite crazy.

Indecisiveness about taking the final call

There are several in incidents when guilty wives or empathetic husbands are in a strong dilemma to come out of an abusive relationship or an impaired spouse. There can be various causes such as mental illness, addiction to sex, alcohol or drugs. The struggle is a tough one since they may still have tender feelings for their spouses and also value their marriage vows. However, often such feelings are one-sided.

Such women and men keep searching for answers painstakingly on how to cope up with a spouse who is a bipolar personality a passively aggressive partner or a narcissist. These people seek out reasonable techniques to handle unpleasant situations. In a majority of cases, the area of concern remains the same although the actual diagnosis may vary. After all, they have to handle a partner who is in a position to appreciate reality and hence fairness, honesty or compromise may seem to be a far-fetched dream.

Challenges faced by spouses of mentally ill partners

Aggressive litigation and stonewalling are a couple of big challenges that are frequently faced by the spouses. It is often believed that people try to hire an attorney who is like them. So, it is likely that a vengeful partner may end up hiring a divorce attorney who is hostile and aggressive. Such attorneys can aggravate the illness of their clients. Additionally, when these clients have more wealth, they can get nastier and eventually end up destroying their families.

Although courts may not be of much help even now to protect such families, professionals like Orange County divorce mediators, coaches and therapists can create tools for helping people cope up with their high-conflict divorces.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Is Divorce Affecting Your Mental Health?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorney; The Maggio Law FirmThose who have been through a divorce actually realize that it is hardly a picnic. At least, the statement is true for most of the divorced couples. Both the emotional as well as the legal process can take a toll on your physical and mental well being. When you find yourself entangled in a divorce that is full of drama and high conflict, your case may drag on for an indefinite time period. Further, your mental health can suffer due to your emotional turmoil. Research has proved that a divorce can even affect your heartbeat and sleeping habits.

Plus, there is plenty of uncertainty, which comes as an additional baggage with your divorce making you feel insecure today or even in the future. Based on your unique circumstances, it is possible that you need to move all of a sudden, resume work after many years when your sole focus was on your home and kids. You may even have to survive with fewer funds than before. When you are aware of the mental health issues that may pop up during your divorce, you can be in control over your emotional and physical health and are able to take all such steps that can prevent excessive damage.

Divorce and anxiety

There are ample case studies to prove that divorce may expose the involved parties to a higher risk of a mental state such as anxiety. This emotional state may be reflected by chronic worry, increased physical agitation, panic attacks, restlessness or fearfulness, and irritability. It is normal to be busy with the various details and intricacies of your divorce, relationship issues with your former spouse and thinking about those negative issues that you may have to cope up with next. Anxiety can lead to a feeling of obsessiveness while causing havoc to your everyday function, sleep, and concentration. In case you feel that you are suffering from high degrees of anxiety while your divorce proceeding is still going on or after your divorce, you should either get in touch with your physician promptly or try out any or all of the following natural remedies.

Search for support groups or a professional counselor

  • Pursue some new hobbies
  • Exercise regularly
  • Form new friendships
  • Get engaged in meaningful work
  • Volunteer to help others
  • Get in touch with your friends and family for support

Divorce and depression

Depression occurring due to a painful life event such as divorce is not same as clinical depression. The former is referred to as situational depression of adjustment disorder. However, both situational depression and clinical depression may manifest in a similar manner.

Depression after a divorce may also happen due to some other factors. These are as follows:

  • Avoiding one’s friends and family
  • Staying away from responsibility
  • Engaging in conflict or fighting
  • Performance becomes poor at workplace due to inadequate or no focus

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Top Divorce Survival Tips

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmThe decision to get a divorce is not an easy one even though the couple or a spouse has contemplated the pros and cons of it for many days before making a decision. Emotions like fear, uncertainty, distress, anger are very common when the divorce is filed or it has been finalized. A divorce may take a toll on the husband or the wife’s self-esteem too. Here are some important divorce survival tips to start life fresh once again.

There is hardly anyone who is ready for a divorce

Divorce is not an easy affair at all both legally as well as emotionally. In case you feel uninformed, intimidated and baffled, you need to understand that you are not the only one to go through this roller coaster ride of emotional after all there is rarely anyone who is prepared for a divorce. The exception to this is perhaps the therapists and the divorce lawyers who work with couples on the verge of getting divorced.

The good news for you is that that there will be no dearth of helpful information and useful advice that are easily available on the net and the community where you live. However, before listening to such advice and suggestions, it is imperative to ask yourself about what should be your first step. Do not worry about what others are advising you to do first. Rather, try to figure out that knowing and intuitive voice telling you what should be your next step all about.

Do not neglect your body

Though this may sound cliché and quite obvious, many people try to overlook their fundamental requirements while they are under stress.  These basic needs include decent hours of sleep, regular exercise, healthy and balanced food. When you are physically well, it lays down the foundation for your emotional and mental well-being. Hence, male sensible decisions for your well-being in the coming months and says.

You need not give explanations to anybody

Just remember that you are not answerable to anyone and everyone’s when you start telling people around you about your divorce, they may ask you “why” so.  But most of the times, these people for not ask such questions because they are worried about your well-being. Rather they do it out of curiosity and to get more information. Another reason could be that such people are apprehensive about their own marriages. That is the reason why they want to compare their experiences versus yours.

Self-assurance is crucial

There are different kinds of losses associated with a divorce. It could be the end of a dream, a particular kind of a lifestyle, a home and a marriage. There could be loads of uncertainties and insecurities with respect to your child custody, living arrangements, and finances in the future but whenever you feel down and insecure, you need to assure yourself that you have everything you need.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Divorce & Medical Issues: What To Know

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmChronic illness, including mental illness, can make a destructive impact on conjugal life. It is possible to seek divorce on grounds of chronic illness. It can be factored into alimony and custody decisions as well.

Decision capabilities

In the State of California, there is no need for the spouse who want a divorce to prove that the other spouse is the cause of divorce. This is termed “no-fault divorce”. In particular circumstances, however, the chronic illness of one spouse can be a valid reason for the other spouse to seek divorce. Courts in California could dissolve any marriage on grounds that the spouse in such a case is not capable of making decisions. This is termed “legal incapacity”. It determines that a person who is mentally sick is incapable to make decisions like getting married, making medical decisions, executing wills or entering into contracts. Any individual who is incapable of making any decision has deficiency in one or multiple categories like:

  • Processing the information given to him or her
  • Ability to modulate his or her mood
  • Attention and alertness
  • Thought processes

Any spouse who seek a divorce due to legal incapacity must prove that other spouse lacks the capacity to make decisions at divorce filing time. Multiple medical professionals will give a statement or testify before a judge to find out whether this particular spouse suffers from any illness. It should be to such an extent that the spouse cannot be capable of making any kind of decision.

Guardian and annulment

For divorce seeking spouse, he or she must deliver or serve petition for divorce on the conservator or the guardian of mentally ill spouse in case there is one present. The conservator or guardian represents the interests of the ill spouse in court. Do understand that an ill spouse has same rights as a healthy spouse to property rights.

Courts in California can annul any marriage if it is proved that a spouse cannot have agreed to marry at time of wedding. To give an example, this will happen in the case of underage spouse. It is also applicable if the spouse is forcefully married. Marriages can also be annuled by the court when one spouse cannot have consented if it was not possible to understand nature of marriage. However, in case the sick spouse recovers after the marriage is completed, then it will not be possible for any judge to annul that marriage.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Long-Term Separations Can Do More Harm Than Good For Women

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmMost couples want to spend time away from each other to consider whether to file for a divorce or not. But spending too much time away from each other could be harmful, especially for women. In California, long-term separations can have a negative effect and it’s best that you either reconcile or file for a divorce as soon as you can. Getting a divorce can be a good thing because it gives you the freedom that you’ve always wanted. It also helps you moving on with your life as soon as you can and this can be a great thing. Instead of anticipating who or what your partner might be involved with, it’s probably better to go ahead and file for divorce.

There are many reasons why long-term separation is bad for you and some of them are listed below:

  1. Financial aspects. If you stay separately are not in touch with your partner, then it is difficult for you to know how much your partner is spending. And then one day you file for a divorce and find out that all those expenses and debts have landed on your shoulder. Because you are still legally married the assets and properties are divided equally, at least in California. You might end up losing more than you bargained for.
  2. Expenses. When you stay separately you must manage your own expenses and this can be tough. As a couple, everything was shared but now each expense is on you. Your job might be paying enough to pay your bills but at any point of time your lifestyle might change drastically. Your expenses might shoot up and you might land yourself in debts. If you move to another state, then the divorce laws in that state could be different from where you were staying. If you have a child, then the situation can become tricky. Child support laws are different from state to state.
  3. Assets could be at risk. Imagine if your husband gets caught in a fraud or gets sued for something illegal, even you must bear the insult. Apart from inquiries, your financial assets are at risk and you do not know till what extent is your husband involved. It can weigh heavily on your divorce and you might even end up going bankrupt.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How Delaying the Divorce Process Can be Bad for You

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmIn a majority of cases, the divorce litigation process implies an exorbitant expenditure that often leaves both the parties devoid of financial resources required to restart their separate lives from scratch. An undue delay of your divorce process does not only cause additional stress and anguish to both your spouse and you, but can punch holes in your pockets financially. However, the money issue is not the only aspect of a delayed divorce. Let’s have a look at a few ramifications of a delay in your litigation process.

The rift between the partners grows wider 

The fact that the two of you have finally decided to separate is a testament to your growing apathy towards the relationship. However, it is also after a long time that you two have actually agreed upon something with mutual consent. A mutually agreed upon divorce becomes a kind of a joint goal that both partners have to together work on. However, every single day that you delay the process, that joint goal tends to take a back seat in your lives. You start looking ahead of your present situation and might lose out on one last chance of accomplishing something important with your spouse.

There is a risk of your partner getting involved in a new relationship 

In many cases, the anger and resentment of a divorce leads one of the partners to stray and find solace in the company of a new potential lover. The emptiness of the current scenario makes it inevitable for a partner to look for other ways of restoring their damaged egos. Such post-divorce relationships are mostly rebound and hardly ever transform into meaningful lifelong alliances. However, they do have the potential of causing more conflicts and tension in an ongoing litigation process. The interference of a third party often complicates the situation and makes it more difficult to sensibly deal with it.

A delay in the litigation can wreak havoc on your finances 

Every hour of legal consultation with your attorney costs you money. A delay in your divorce process implies that you will be spending more and more money on professional aids, with each passing day. There are several such lawyers in the industry that are specifically looking for making big bucks at the cost of another person’s plight. They encourage dragging the case for years to come, so that they can obtain a steady income off of it.

Avoiding unnecessary delays in your divorce litigation process will not only save you a lot of money and time, but also spare you the horror of persistent anguish and stress.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

Can I Retain My Health Insurance Coverage after a Divorce?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law FirmIn a majority of complicated divorce cases in California, there is often a partner who is constantly fretting over whether or not he or she will retain the health insurance coverage after the divorce. The health insurance costs in America are extremely high, and losing on such enormous amount of money can be a huge setback for most. If a partner does not retain the health insurance coverage of his or her ex spouse post a divorce, he or she might have to obtain a fresh insurance from the open market, which will often imply a substantial investment.

When does the court allow you to retain your ex partner’s health insurance coverage? 

Although, in a majority of cases the ‘continuation of coverage’ is cited as temporary by the federal and state laws, there are certain circumstances wherein an ex spouse is liable to compensate the uninsured partner for indefinite health insurance coverage. In some cases, the divorcing parties might reach a mutually agreed settlement which puts the insured spouse under the obligation of making regular cash payments to the other partner in lieu of the indefinite health coverage. In addition to this, there are certain other provisions which require the insured spouse to take up a new health insurance plan which will be able to provide indefinite coverage to the uninsured spouse as well. In case, the uninsured partner is granted the sole custody of the couple’s children, the new health insurance plan is bound to provide coverage not only to the custodial parent but also to the children. 

Retaining your health insurance coverage in California 

The state laws of California are likely to favor the retention of the health insurance coverage by the uninsured spouse even after a divorce. This implies, that under normal circumstance you will be allowed to retain your share in the health insurance plan of your ex spouse. However, the entire process of establishing your share in the coverage and making premium payments can be quite complex. In order to avoid last minute hassles, most of the attorneys in California will probably advice you to apply for legal separation proceedings well in advance before you file that divorce petition.

Once the final verdict has been announced by the court of law, the uninsured spouse needs to determine his or her eligibility to qualify for COBRA coverage which allows you temporary coverage for a period of up to 36 months.

If you wish to know more about the COBRA coverage and whether you are eligible to retain your health insurance coverage or not, you can consult a professional attorney who would be able to effectively guide you on the legal aspects of the matter.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How To Deal With Post-Divorce Stress

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmDivorce will leave scars on everyone that goes through it. It doesn’t matter if the divorce was a mutual decision or a one-sided one, the feelings of loss and disconnection are common. Often, however, holding on these feelings makes the future worse both for yourself and your ex. There are 2 key things that you have to understand in order to get past your post-divorce stress:

Divorce will not change people

There are divorcees who have admitted that they never loved or stopped loving their exes but they still felt emotional towards them or frustrated by them. The main cause of this isn’t necessarily conflict – it’s that people have the misconception that divorce will change people. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. For example, if you were married to an overbearing narcissist then they won’t change after the divorce. Expecting them to be different when you meet them post-divorce will change the way you interact with them.

Remember that most sociopaths or narcissists thrive on the reaction that their actions or words get. Thus, they are less likely to change if you react the same way every time. You have to focus on changing your reactions to their sadistic behavior as there is no way for you to control them. Admittedly, this isn’t an easy task and requires daily effort.

Changing your perception

During the process of a divorce, people tend to put themselves down as they go through loss. A lot of divorcees end up looking at themselves as failures and spiral into self-pity. Self-pity can lead to divorcees getting stuck in a vicious cycle of over-compensating (partying,.dating new people constantly, indulging in substance abuse) and depression (lying in bed, giving up responsibilities). The key to getting over this is to change your perspective.

Look at divorce for what it really is, two people who once loved each other growing apart. Do not try to attach blame, either to your ex or yourself. Remember that neither of you are failures for choosing to end an unhappy marriage. Regardless of what happened in the past, you have to stop living through it over and over again. It is the only way to move on and maybe even make the divorce more amicable. Counseling is a great way for you and your ex to understand each others view points and move on after the divorce.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

How You Can Make Your Divorce Easier Using Mindfulness Meditation

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmCouples decide to go their separate ways for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the decision can be mutual, but no matter the decision or the reason, it is not a cause for celebration. Everything around you changes because the life you had built, the family you had nurtured has come undone.

During and after the divorce, you have to learn to adjust to a whole new life without your spouse. Your children also suffer with you now that their parents are living apart. You have to start afresh after a great deal of hurt and painful memories. Divorce has been the leading cause of depression and anxiety among adults in the United States.

If you are battling a divorce, you need to realize that you are not alone. You have support groups and therapy sessions to help people cope with difficult divorces. If those do not interest you, you could turn to mindfulness meditation.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness can be described as being open to all your experiences, the good or bad, without attaching yourself to them. Being mindful helps you learn how to be present instead of running away from what is happening. This process helps you open your mind and observe yourself in entirety.

Mindfulness meditation

The practice of mindfulness meditation can be traced back to Buddhist origins. It is widely practiced and has been proven to help reduce emotional pain, depression, and stress. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation also helps decrease pain intensity.

How can mindfulness meditation help with a divorce?

When you are fighting through a divorce, any source of relief is welcomed. Meditation has proven to be an excellent method to relieve stress. With all those negative thoughts and emotions swirling around in your mind will only bog you down. Over time, it can be overwhelming for both your mind and body.

Being mindful of your situation as you fight through your divorce will help you be present in what can be described as one of the most unpleasant experiences of your life. But this will help you analyze your situation and learn from it. Instead of harboring bitter and hateful feelings, you will learn to let things go as you immerse yourself in the dreadful situation. Your body will feel more relaxed and you will slowly begin to gain more control over yourself and feel lesser negative about the situation.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

How To Handle Going Through A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law FirmIt definitely isn’t easy handling life just after a divorce. After having spent a significant amount of time with that person it is a huge change physically, mentally and emotionally to move on in life knowing that the person will not be a part of your life anymore but also knowing that the memories and times you’ve shared together will remain forever and will be hard to erase.

How to help yourself or help someone else while going through a divorce

Having a strong support group of family and friends while going through a divorce can really help pull you out of that rut. if you are going through a divorce or if you know somebody who is going through a divorce there are a lot of different ways to deal with it without resorting to substance abuse or falling into depression. Here are a few positive ways to handle a divorce:

Start seeing a therapist or counselor there is absolutely nothing wrong in seeking some help from an expert while handling a divorce. Having someone leave you or leaving someone can come as a real shock and a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist will have the training, knowledge and experience to help you get through these tough times.

Love yourself never stop loving yourself, your mind and your body, as your self-esteem can get pretty low after a divorce. Keep telling yourself how much you love yourself every day and do things that make you happy. Eat your favorite foods, pamper yourself at a spa and shower yourself with love, positive vibes, and strong energy.

Start working if you weren’t working during the marriage then get a job that you love or that you’re qualified for as soon as possible to get your mind off the divorce. Working and earning your own money will give you a sense of independence emotionally and financially and will give you reassurance that you don’t need a spouse to rely on for anything. You might even make a few good friends at the new workplace. Meeting people every day is important to prevent you from going into a possible state of clinical depression.

Don’t shut yourself out completely to the idea of dating again sure, you may need some time to yourself right after a divorce but don’t shy away from the possibility of finding love again. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and if someone is showing a love interest in you, don’t hesitate to go out on a date with them. If you need to take time in the new relationship, given the divorce, be honest and open with them about it.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.

No Legal Advice Intended: This website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Full disclaimer.