How a Disability or a Serious Health Condition Can Impact Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is a highly emotional time in the best-case scenario. A lot of factors can create challenges and damage your personal life as you go through the divorce process. And suffering from a serious, possibly life-threatening health condition during this time makes things worse. This could raise all types of issues including moral dilemmas and practical problems. Some people who are in this situation may have a second thought about getting a divorce. Others may argue that the spouse has a duty to care for an ailing spouse. However, some people say leaving a troubled marriage can be less stressful. For them, the newfound freedom allows an ailing spouse to concentrate on their recovery without coping with the stress of their marriage. Learn more about how a health issue can impact your divorce:

Health Considerations in Financial Remedies Proceedings

At an early stage of their divorce proceedings, spouses will be asked to disclose health issues they may be suffering from. These could include a disability, anxiety, stress, or a long-term physical health problem. Sometimes, the existence of a health condition or disability itself may be in dispute. When this happens, parties must consider the evidence that can best assist the family court. But the evidence collection process must be proportionate to the problem’s effect on financial settlements. A skilled attorney can advise their client on how to best approach this matter. 

Factoring in Health into the Family Court’s Analysis

Courts will always want to divide assets fairly between spouses. One factor they consider is any physical or mental disability suffered by either party. Also, they take into account the spouse’s earning capacity. The court won’t think about the current earning capacity alone; instead, it considers the earning capacity reasonable enough to allow a spouse to take certain steps to achieve.

How Health Affects the Outcome of Divorce Proceedings

Generally, the effect of a spouse’s health condition or disability will depend on the seriousness of the condition, its effects on their current and future financial position, as well as how such considerations weigh against other divorce considerations. Due to the complexity of how principles are applied in this matter, it is important to retain an attorney.

It is important to keep in mind that a serious health condition or disability may weaken the claim of a spouse to the marital assets, instead of increasing it. This is possible when one party gets considerable disability benefit payments or when a spouse has limited future financial needs because of a reduced life expectancy.

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