What To Consider Before Divorcing a Disabled Spouse

divorce handicapped spouse concept with spouse in wheelchair

Divorce is a complicated and emotional process, but when you add a disability into the mix, it can become even more challenging.

If you are considering divorce while your spouse is disabled, it’s essential to understand the financial, emotional and parenting implications involved.

Financial implications

Divorcing a disabled spouse raises a number of financial implications for which you will need legal guidance.

You will need to consider how your spouse’s disability will affect spousal support and child support arrangements, along with decisions regarding property division.

Spousal Support: Depending on the nature and severity of your spouse’s disability, you may be required to pay spousal support for a longer period of time than you would in a typical divorce. Additionally, understanding how your spouse’s disability will impact their ability to earn income will also play into this consideration.

Child Support: The impact of your spouse’s disability on their ability to earn income could potentially influence child support arrangements, but it depends on various factors such as custody arrangements.

Asset division In Nevada, a community property state, all income and assets acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses. However, when divorcing a disabled spouse, certain nuances apply. For instance, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) might be considered for support obligations, but Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not. Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits cannot be divided as marital property but may be garnished for spousal or child support. Assets held under Medicaid are also subject to specific rules.

Emotional implications

In addition to the financial considerations, it’s important to carefully consider the emotional implications of divorcing a disabled spouse.

You may need to seek emotional support from a therapist or support group to express and process various feelings of grief, guilt, anger, and sadness.

You may also need to work on developing effective communication and co-parenting strategies, especially if you have children together.

Parenting implications

A parent’s disability is not an automatic disqualification for obtaining custody. However, if the disability impedes the ability to provide safe and suitable care for the child, it may influence the court’s decision.

Child custody decisions in divorce proceedings are guided by the concern for the child’s best interests, encompassing their emotional, social, moral, material, and educational well-being.

The court carefully assesses each parent’s capacity to meet these needs, irrespective of disability status.

Divorce Attorneys in Nevada

Smith Legal Group provides legal guidance for couples seeking a contested or uncontested divorce where one spouse is disabled. Know your spouse’s disability rights and protections beforehand to avoid an unfair settlement or additional legal challenges. Contact our Henderson, NV office at 702-410-5001 to request a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog post should be construed as legal advice. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in this blog post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.