Mental health and grounds for divorce in the State of California

Alongside physical health, mental health is also an essentialcomponent of our general health. A person’s emotional, psychological, and social wellness is called mental health, and it determines how we think, feel and act. Moreover, it determines how we make our choices, choose our relationships, and handle stress.

According to the latest data provided by National Institute on Mental Health, one in every five American adults lives with mental health issues. The total number of American adults living with Any Mental Illness (AMI) is 51.5 million. Mental illness varies in level of severity and can range from mild to severe. Mental health issues and divorce are closely interlinked with each other, with one affecting the other. 

Why is mental health important?

As the saying goes, ‘No health without mental health.” Mental health is an integral part and directly affects our overall health. Good mental health is proof that our mental functions are doingjust fine. If you are in good mental health, you are more likely to have a productive and prosperous lifestyle. Good mental health enhances your ability to attain perfect physical health. It also enables you to maintain family and interpersonal relationships. 

What is mental illness?

Changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior determine mental illness. It is a feeling that affects a person’s mindset, feeling, mood or behavior. Conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia are the direct outcomes of mental illness. Mental illness can also give birth to physical health problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases. Significant causes of mental illness include trauma, loneliness, abuse, chronic health conditions, chemical imbalance in the brain, and use of drugs. It is pertinent to mention that mental illness can affect a person at any stage of their lifetime. 

Mental illness and divorce in California

The reason behind more than half of the divorces in the United States is mental illness. California is no different. Bipolar depression and schizophrenia are severe forms of mental illness,while some other types are treatable. Mental health issues can beassociated with divorce in a variety of ways. A partner who is suffering from mental illness may show aggressive, narcissistic, or self-centered behavior. Such behavior can be detrimental to the relationship between couples and can also impact the lives of all the family members. 

The courts offer a variety of options for partners who are suffering from mental illness. If children are involved, courts make sure they are protected on a priority basis. A proper program is devised to provide adequate protection to assets of the marriage. In case of severe mental illness, the court can appoint a guardian for a person. If needed, the court can also freeze the assets and limit the account access. 

All divorces in California are “No-Fault” divorces. It means that the spouse requesting a divorce is not required to prove the other spouse has done wrong. As a no-fault divorce state, California only requires one spouse for a divorce. If the other spouse doesn’t want a divorce, they can’t do much to stop it. 

You can file for divorce in California based on irreconcilable differences and permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. For the latter, you need complete medical proof or psychiatrictestimony. 

If one spouse is suffering from mental health issues and is unable to make decisions, the courts may dissolve the marriageon the grounds of legal incapacity. 

When it comes to child custody matters, parents’ mental health issues play a central role. The law gives the utmost importance to the interests and wellbeing of young ones. Courts also consider mental health when they decide to award “alimony” or spousal support to one of the ex-spouses.

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