Book an appointment using SetMore

Getting a divorce when you or your spouse is disabled

"I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce." This phrase can strike like lightning, jolting you out of your comfortable daily rhythm. It's akin to the sudden, heart-stopping ascent on a roller coaster ride. Your heart pounding in your chest, the world around you blurring into a whirl of uncertainty. But just like a roller coaster, even though this journey will have its highs and lows, remember: you will reach solid ground again.

This blog post is about strapping in and preparing for that roller coaster ride. It's about empowering yourself with knowledge, getting your bearings, and ultimately finding your balance in a world that's turned upside down. We'll be discussing the legal, emotional, and practical aspects that come into play when you're facing a divorce while dealing with a disability.

Are you worried about navigating the legal maelstrom of child custody, alimony, and estate planning? We've got you covered.

Feeling anxious about emotional support, housing, and financial planning? Don't fret. We'll delve into all of these.

Curious about how disability advocacy groups can help or how caregiving arrangements might change? We've got the answers.

And the short answer? Yes, divorce can be complicated when a disability is involved. But with the right support, resources, and guidance, you'll be able to face it head-on.

So, stick around! This post is packed with real-life examples, easy-to-understand explanations, and tangible solutions. This journey might be tough, but remember, every roller coaster has its ups and downs, and we're here to guide you through each twist and turn. Let's ride this together!

Roller Coasters, Silver Linings, and the Twists of Life: Navigating a Divorce with a Disability

People with disabilities face challenges that are unique to their given situation. Whether the disability is mental or physical, if you are disabled, there are daily, sometimes hourly reminders that specific tasks or processes give you more problems than your neighbors or co-workers. However, this doesn't mean that you are less able to accomplish your goals or live a fulfilling life. You perhaps need to do a bit more research and learn as much as possible about life steps and journeys that are already difficult enough on your own.

Getting a divorce is a difficult life journey that affects the non-disabled and disabled alike. While the law applies to each of us in equal amounts, how you as a disabled person, handle your divorce and plan for it will likely be different. In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, I would like to share with you some specific pieces of information that will be relevant for you to take in and understand as you approach a divorce.

If you have questions about the subject matter discussed in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free-of-charge consultations with a licensed family law attorney six days a week. The attorney you meet with will take time to sit and speak to you about your situation and answer your questions in a comfortable and pressure-free environment.

Legal Process

Possible Challenges

Potential Solutions

Child Custody

Maintaining custody or visitation rights when one spouse has a disability.

Seek legal counsel to establish your rights and advocate for your needs.


Ensuring fair and adequate spousal support when one spouse is disabled and unable to work.

Engage a financial expert to provide an accurate assessment of living expenses and potential income sources.

Estate Planning

Protecting assets and planning for the future when one spouse has a disability.

Utilize estate planning tools like trusts and power of attorney to secure your financial future.

Division of Disability Pensions

Ensuring that disability pensions are divided fairly.

Consult with an attorney to understand your rights and negotiate terms.

Caregiving Arrangements

Ensuring care for a disabled spouse post-divorce.

Include provisions for a professional caregiver in the divorce settlement.

Are you more likely to get divorced if you become disabled?

Suppose you are disabled, or your spouse is. In that case, you may be surprised to learn that there is plenty of information out there online and in print media that suggests that your chances of encountering divorce are higher now than before the onset of a disabling condition. This stands to reason if you think about it. Hard times, stressful times bring about challenges in a marriage that require a rock-solid commitment from you and your spouse. If one of you is faltering or wavering in your commitment to each other, the groundwork has been laid for a divorce to occur.

Complicating factors like the need for specialized and extended care for the disabled spouse, issues regarding current levels of support for a spouse unable to work, as well as problems associated with dividing up conservatorship rights and duties for children exist for you and your spouse. If you are already facing issues associated with topics like this during your marriage, you can expect the disagreements to become amplified during a divorce.

How functional is your spouse mentally?

For this section, we will be approaching the topic of mental impairments and disabilities as if your spouse is the person with the disabling condition. As people live longer and longer, we begin to encounter situations where older people want to get divorced with greater frequency. Their bodies are doing well, but their minds may not be in the same position.

You would have to ask yourself whether or not your spouse is mentally able to participate fully in the divorce process due to their failing mental health. This can prove to be a critical and relevant issue in your divorce case. When you hire an attorney to represent you in your spouse, you should consult with them to determine under state law what is appropriate in terms of your spouse's capacity to represent themselves in a divorce or to even engage with counsel. A guardian or conservator may have to be appointed by the court if it is determined that your spouse is incapable of making decisions independently.

Will you play a role in your spouse's life after divorce?

Suppose that you and your spouse get along just fine. While you have been a doting spouse, you believe that a divorce is necessary due to some of the difficulties associated with your spouse becoming disabled. After a great deal of thought, you have decided to hire a lawyer and proceed with the divorce. Your first question may be to what extent you can and should you play a role in helping to provide for your spouse after the divorce from a financial perspective.

Keep in mind that spousal maintenance may be a possibility for you to pay after your divorce if it is shown that your disabled spouse will be unable to provide for their minimal, basic needs on their own. If your spouse is receiving social security disability payments, these sums are unlikely to exceed $1,500 per month. The amount they need over and above this may need to be paid by you for a certain period.

What effect does divorce have on governmental benefits?

Suppose you are receiving social security disability benefits or supplemental income from Social Security due to being determined as unable to work. In that case, you probably have questions about how your divorce will impact your benefits.

Suppose you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your need to receive benefits increases in a divorce. The reason being is that you are now dependent solely on your income rather than that of your spouse and yourself. Depending on how property is divided in your case, you may be able to contact the government and increase your benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will not be affected by a divorce, but keep in mind that these benefits can be accessed for spousal maintenance or child support payments. Remember that you usually qualify for SSDI only if you have worked within the past five years. If you do not have any recent work, you are unlikely to apply for SSDI.

What about Medicare benefits?

In relation to your or your spouse receiving SSDI benefits, Medicare is an important topic often not discussed in a divorce case. If you are receiving benefits through SSDI or are over 65, you are eligible for Medicare. Parts of the plan do not require premiums to be paid, while others do. Medicare can be purchased for those not eligible to receive social security retirement income.

When in doubt- contact an attorney to learn more about your situation

The topics we have covered today are just the tip of the iceberg and relevant ones that are likely to be discussed greatly in your divorce case. While you cannot always prepare for every possible eventuality, it pays to learn what you will likely encounter to plan and decide how to approach each topic individually. Family law attorneys- specifically those with experience handling divorce cases for people with disabilities- are a terrific resource when it comes to issues like this.

If you have questions or need clarification about any topic we covered today, I recommend contacting the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We represent people of all different sorts from our community, and we take great pride in doing so. Our attorneys and staff are attuned to the needs of our clients, and we value communication and fair dealing in our representation. To learn more about our office and help you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

I Am Disabled and My Husband Wants a Divorce": A Journey of Emotional and Legal Complexities

"I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce," is a statement that rings with a multitude of emotions and legal complexities. The journey towards divorce when one partner is disabled can take an intricate path. Let's delve into the details.

Your Legal Rights and Proper Representation

Embarking on this journey, you need an advocate who understands the unique circumstances of being disabled. A knowledgeable attorney can ensure court processes are accessible and information is communicated understandably. For example, Jane, a woman with a hearing disability, engaged a lawyer who made sure all court proceedings were relayed to her via a sign language interpreter. This ensured Jane fully participated and understood every aspect of her divorce proceedings.

The Emotional Roller Coaster and the Need for Support

This journey often comes with a heavy emotional toll. Bob, an individual who used a wheelchair, said, "When my wife asked for a divorce, it felt like I was going through my accident all over again. The emotional pain was unbearable." To cope, Bob sought help from a counselor who specialized in disability and divorce. Connecting with a support group was also helpful, as he found camaraderie with others going through the same struggles.

The Interplay Between Disability and Child Custody

Divorce gets more complex when children are involved. You might worry, "I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, will I lose my kids?" Courts base child custody decisions on the best interest of the child. Having a disability does not automatically disqualify you from having custody. For instance, Sara, who has a visual impairment, was worried she would lose custody of her children. However, the court acknowledged her dedicated parenting and ability to provide a loving, nurturing environment.

Deciphering Alimony in the Context of Disability

Navigating through alimony decisions can be daunting. If you're thinking, "I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, how will I survive financially?", remember that the law considers your situation. Courts often consider the financial needs of the disabled spouse. Marianne, who has a chronic illness, was awarded spousal support to help cover her medical costs and living expenses.

Health Insurance: A Vital Concern

Health insurance is a critical concern in these situations. Divorce might jeopardize your coverage if you are on your husband's insurance. It's vital to discuss this with your attorney. Anne, a woman with Multiple Sclerosis, ensured her divorce settlement included provisions for maintaining her health insurance, mitigating any potential coverage loss.

How Disability Advocacy Groups Can Help

Disability advocacy groups can provide vital resources during a divorce. They offer guidance, support, and sometimes legal help. Roger, a man with a mobility impairment, got legal advice and emotional support from a local disability advocacy group during his divorce.

Housing Concerns in the Wake of Divorce

"I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, where will I live?" It's a question that often comes up. Some disabilities require special housing accommodations. These considerations will be a key part of the divorce proceedings. When John, a person with quadriplegia, divorced, his lawyer ensured that his housing needs were met in the divorce agreement.

Estate Planning Considerations in Divorce

Another factor to consider in such a divorce is estate planning. You'll want to revise your will and perhaps establish a special needs trust to protect your assets and your ongoing care. When Liz, a woman with a progressive neurological disorder, divorced, her lawyer helped her set up a trust to protect her assets and ensure her care needs would be met.

The Impact on Caregiving Arrangements

Another concern you might have is, "I am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce. Who will care for me?" Caregiving arrangements can change after divorce, and planning for this is important. Emily, who relies on her husband for care, ensured that her divorce settlement included provisions for a professional caregiver.

Financial Planning for the Future

You might wonder, "I am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, how can I secure my financial future?" Financial planning can be complex in these situations. Professional financial advice can be crucial. Susan, a woman living with a disability, engaged a financial advisor who helped her understand how to manage her assets and finances post-divorce.

Disability Pensions and Divorce: A Tangled Web

The division of disability pensions in a divorce can be a challenging process. You may worry, "I am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce. Will I lose my pension?" Legal assistance can help ensure your financial security. When Mike, a retired veteran with a disability, divorced, his attorney helped him retain his disability pension.

"I am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce" — these words signify the start of a complex journey. But with the right guidance and support, you can navigate through the emotional and legal maze that lies ahead.

Looking Ahead: Life After the Roller Coaster Ride

Like every adventurous roller coaster ride, this journey of navigating through a divorce when disabled also comes to a halt. At this point, you might be disoriented, perhaps even dizzy, but remember, you've made it. You're back on solid ground!

Through the high-speed twists and turns, the heart-dropping lows and the dizzying heights, you've hung on tight, braved every surprise, and now you're ready to step off and start a new journey.

But what does that look like?

You might be like Susan, successfully managing her finances with professional help, or like Mike, who made it through the battle and held on to his pension. You might take a page from Emily's book and organize professional caregiving. Perhaps you'll follow in the footsteps of Liz, ensuring your care needs and protecting your assets with a well-planned trust.

The short answer? It'll be a different life, undoubtedly. But it's a life where you'll have harnessed your strength, drawn on your resilience, and become stronger.

So, go ahead and unbuckle your seatbelt, step off the ride, and know you're not alone. This new chapter might be uncharted territory, but remember, every adventurer needs a good map, and we hope this post has given you just that.

So, onto the next adventure! Let's continue the journey together! From the highs and lows of the roller coaster to the steady rhythm of life after, you are not alone. And always remember, it's not about the disability; it's about the ability to adapt, overcome, and keep moving forward.

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore


Adobe Stock 62844981[2]If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce"

Divorce Wasting Assets[4] If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!"

Other Related Articles

  1. Post high school life for an adult disabled child in Texas
  2. How much child support can you receive in Texas for a disabled child over the age of 18?
  3. Handling your child support duties as a disabled veteran in Texas
  4. Disabled and receiving Social Security benefits? Read this blog post before beginning your divorce
  5. Spousal maintenance in a divorce with a disabled child
  6. Divorce with a disabled child in Texas
  7. Guardianships and alternatives for adult, disabled children in Texas
  8. Can you collect spousal maintenance for an extended time period if you are disabled?
  9. Spousal Maintenance for a Disabled Spouse in Texas
  10. Alimony or Spousal Support and a Disabled Spouse in Texas

FAQs on Divorce with a Disabled Spouse

Key questions answered about handling divorce when one spouse is disabled.

Can I divorce my wife if she is disabled?

Yes, it is possible to divorce your wife even if she is disabled. However, the disability may influence certain aspects of the divorce settlement, like spousal support or the division of assets.

What is the divorce rate for a disabled spouse?

Specific statistics regarding the divorce rate for disabled spouses are not readily available as of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021. Nevertheless, studies suggest that marriages where a spouse is disabled might experience additional stressors, which could potentially influence the divorce rate.

Is disability divisible in divorce?

Disability benefits are generally not considered a divisible asset in a divorce. However, they can affect decisions related to spousal support or alimony.

Do you have to support your spouse after divorce?

The need to support your spouse post-divorce is determined by several factors, including the duration of the marriage, the financial situation of both parties, and the presence of any prenuptial agreement. In some scenarios, one party might be mandated to pay spousal support or alimony.

Fill Out To Watch Now!

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.