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Mental Health and Divorce in Florida

There are two grounds for divorce in Florida – the marriage is irretrievably broken or one spouse is mentally incapacitated. This mental incapacity must exist for at least three years before the filing of the divorce. Spousal support may be ordered for the incapacitated spouse, and the incapacity must be ordered by a judge. The court may order that the possibly incapacitated spouse submit to a mental health evaluation. There are parameters governing the breadth of the evaluation. And the court must make findings as to it’s necessity.

The court is likely to order a guardian to represent the interests of the incapacitated spouse during the divorce. You cannot divorce your spouse due to use of drugs or alcohol, but that usage may factor into the allotment of the marital estate. In other words, if a spouse frittered away marital assets on drugs and alcohol it may reduce their rights to a share of the marital property.

Further, the issue of mental incapacity is relevant to custody. Mental illness does not automatically bar a parent from gaining custody. However, if the mental illness impacts the child the court is going to structure visitation and custody in the best interest of the child.

Divorce is difficult and complicated. When there are mental health issues involved it becomes tougher. Make sure that you have a skilled and knowledgeable attorney on your side. Call Dunham and Ingram today.