Will your serious medical condition impact your divorce?

It is common for wedding vows to include a promise to stay together in sickness and in health. Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of fulfilling that specific promise. They may have meant well during the wedding but fail when it comes time to uphold that promise.

Some people begin to resent their spouse when there are significant health issues. Others just can’t offer the support and care that an individual with a terminal or chronic health issue requires.

Finding out that your spouse wants a divorce can add injury to insult when dealing with a serious medical condition. You may even find yourself wondering how you will support yourself and whether your illness will have any impact on the divorce proceedings.

Marital misconduct doesn’t affect property division

It is surprisingly common for one spouse to start having an affair when the other has a serious health issue. The other spouse can become abusive or simply neglect the needs of a partner with health issues. Your spouse’s inability to fulfill their vows and lack of support may have been a terrible experience for you, but it will likely have minimal impact on how the courts rule.

Washington law does not allow a judge to consider marital misconduct when deciding how to split up someone’s property in a divorce. That means that you can’t ask for any kind of punishment because of your ex’s failure to support you. However, the courts can and will consider your economic circumstances.

If your health condition is serious enough, your inability to support yourself might affect how the courts split up your property. It might also bolster a claim for spousal maintenance or alimony.

Can your health issues affect custody decisions?

Serious health concerns can sometimes impact custody determinations. While the courts obviously don’t want to punish someone for having a health issue, they also have to make decisions that they feel are in the best interests of the children.

If you are too ill to provide care, especially if the children aren’t independent yet, that can influence how the courts split up parenting time. The age of your kids, the amount of support you’ll have and the impact of the condition on your parenting will determine how much, if any, bearing your medical issue has on the custody decision in your divorce.

It can be easy to become so wrapped up in emotions during a divorce that you don’t look at the bigger picture. Especially if you have secondary factors, like health issues, that complicate your divorce, getting help early in the process can make things easier for you.

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