Getting a Divorce When You or Your Spouse Is Disabled

鈥淚 am disabled and my husband wants a divorce.鈥 This phrase can strike like lightning, jolting you out of your comfortable daily rhythm. It鈥檚 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. Empower yourself with knowledge, find your bearings, and restore balance in this upside-down world.聽We鈥檒l be discussing the legal, emotional, and practical aspects that come into play when you鈥檙e facing a divorce while dealing with a disability.

Are concerns about navigating the legal complexities of child custody, alimony, and estate planning on your mind? We鈥檝e got you covered.

Feeling anxious about emotional support, housing, and financial planning? Don鈥檛 fret. We鈥檒l delve into all of these.

Curious about how disability advocacy groups can help or how caregiving arrangements might change? We鈥檝e 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鈥檒l be able to face it head-on.

So, stick around! This journey might be tough, but remember, every roller coaster has its ups and downs, and we鈥檙e here to guide you through each twist and turn. Let鈥檚 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 mental or physical, disability constantly reminds you, as a disabled individual, that certain tasks or processes present greater difficulties than those experienced by your neighbors or co-workers, often on a daily or hourly basis.聽However, this doesn鈥檛 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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.

Table: Divorce Challenges and Solutions

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?

If either you or your spouse is disabled, you might be surprised to discover that numerous online and print media sources indicate that the likelihood of divorce increases after the onset of a disabling condition.This makes sense when you think about it. Hard and stressful times bring about challenges in a marriage that require a solid commitment from both partners. If one of you begins to falter or waver in your commitment, it sets the stage for divorce.

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 continue to live longer, the frequency of older individuals seeking divorce increases.聽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鈥檚 capacity to represent themselves in a divorce or to even engage with counsel. The court may appoint a guardian or conservator if it determines that your spouse cannot make independent decisions.

Will you play a role in your spouse鈥檚 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.

After your divorce, remember that you might have to pay spousal maintenance if the court determines that your disabled spouse cannot independently cover their basic needs. If your spouse is receiving social security disability payments, typically not exceeding $1,500 per month, you may be required to offer supplementary support for a specified period.

What effect does divorce have on governmental benefits?

If your spouse is receiving social security disability payments, typically not exceeding $1,500 per month, you may be required to provide extra support for a specified period. 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.

A divorce will not impact Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but it鈥檚 important to note 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?

Concerning you or your spouse receiving SSDI benefits, Medicare is a crucial but often overlooked topic in divorce cases. If you are receiving SSDI benefits or are aged 65 or older, you qualify for Medicare. Certain parts of the plan have no premium requirements, while others do. For those ineligible to receive social security retirement income, Medicare can be obtained through purchase.

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

The topics we鈥檝e covered today are just the beginning and encompass crucial subjects that your divorce case will likely extensively address. While you can鈥檛 anticipate every possible scenario, it鈥檚 beneficial to understand what you鈥檙e likely to face, enabling you to plan and determine your approach to 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 sensitive to our clients鈥 needs, emphasizing effective communication and fair representation. To learn more about our office and help you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

鈥淚 am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce鈥 is a statement filled with various emotions and legal complexities. The process of divorce when one partner is disabled can be intricate and challenging. Let鈥檚 delve into the details.

When embarking on this journey, you require an advocate who comprehends the unique challenges of disability. A skilled attorney can make court processes accessible and ensure clear communication of information. For instance, Jane, a woman with a hearing disability, retained a lawyer who ensured that all court proceedings were conveyed to her through 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, 鈥淲hen my wife asked for a divorce, it felt like I was going through my accident all over again. The emotional pain was unbearable.鈥 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, 鈥淚 am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, will I lose my kids?鈥 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 alimony decisions can be intimidating. If you鈥檙e wondering, 鈥淚 am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce, how will I manage financially?鈥 remember that the law takes your circumstances into account. Courts frequently consider the financial requirements of the disabled spouse. For instance, Marianne, who has a chronic illness, received spousal support to assist with her medical expenses and living costs.

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鈥檚 insurance. It鈥檚 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

鈥淚 am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, where will I live?鈥 It鈥檚 a question that often comes up. Some disabilities require special housing accommodations. These considerations will be a key part of the divorce proceedings.

Estate Planning Considerations in Divorce

Another factor to consider in such a divorce is estate planning. You鈥檒l want to revise your will and perhaps establish a special needs trust to protect your assets and your ongoing care.

The Impact on Caregiving Arrangements

Another concern you might have is, 鈥淚 am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce. Who will care for me?鈥 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, 鈥淚 am disabled and my husband wants a divorce, how can I secure my financial future?鈥 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, 鈥淚 am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce. Will I lose my pension?鈥 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.

鈥淚 am disabled, and my husband wants a divorce鈥 鈥 these words mark the beginning of a intricate 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 feel disoriented, perhaps even dizzy, but remember, you鈥檝e made it.

Through the high-speed twists and turns, the heart-dropping lows and the dizzying heights, you鈥檝e hung on tight, braved every surprise, and now you鈥檙e 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鈥檚 book and organize professional caregiving. Perhaps you鈥檒l follow in the footsteps of Liz, ensuring your care needs and protecting your assets with a well-planned trust.

The short answer? It鈥檒l be a different life, undoubtedly. But it鈥檚 a life where you鈥檒l 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鈥檙e 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 not about the disability; it鈥檚 about the ability to adapt, overcome, and keep moving forward.

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FAQs on Divorce with a Disabled Spouse

Key questions answered about handling divorce when one spouse is disabled

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