These are very uncertain times. People already suffering from mental health
issues are suffering even more.
Couples in unhappy marriages are now pressured by juggling their children’s
schooling issues, getting back to work, and managing their dwindling finances.
More and more couples in difficult marriages are in pain and seeking help.
A couple called and consulted with me about mediation a few months ago.
The husband had significant gambling and credit card debts. He also drank
quite a bit and had anger issues. The wife wanted a divorce, and they
had three young children.
Whenever we had a virtual meeting, the husband dominated the conversation,
talking over his wife and barely letting her speak. He had an intense,
aggressive speech pattern that caught my attention. As a psychologically
trained divorce attorney, I have seen this behavior many times before.
The husband was unreasonably insistent on getting his way. The wife just
stayed very quiet and was afraid to interrupt his ranting.
During our second meeting, as we started discussing finances, property,
child custody, and support, it became clear to me that the husband’s
ability to focus, listen to reason, or communicate with his wife in a
rational way was not possible.
After observing these behaviors, it struck me that this husband’s
behavior was indicative of a bipolar disorder.
I told them towards the end of the meeting that it was clear to me they
were having difficulty negotiating, and I thought there might be some
other issues that needed to be addressed by a therapist before mediation
could be effective.
I offered them a few names of doctors who are part of my team of experts
and suggested they speak with a psychiatrist and take this first step
toward their divorce journey.
Two weeks later I contacted them, as I usually do to follow-up on how they
were doing, and they told me they had been working with one of the doctors
I recommended. The husband had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and
the doctor had prescribed medication.
Six weeks later they made another appointment. The husband shared with
me how much better he was feeling and how things seemed so much clearer.
He felt more focused, less stressed, and calmer. His mind was no longer
racing. Clearly the diagnosis and treatment were making a huge difference
for him and the marriage.
The couple was then able to proceed with their divorce. We continued to
have productive meetings addressing support, finding creative ways to
locate streams of income for the family to survive divorce financially,
and making important decisions regarding their three children.
The mediation process successfully continued, culminating in a separation
agreement they could both live with, and they obtained their divorce within
As a psychologically trained divorce attorney/mediator, here is what to
look for if Bipolar Disorder is a “third party” in your marriage:
- Quickly moving suddenly from one idea to the next (mania)
- Having exaggerated self confidence
- Rapid, "pressured" (uninterruptable) and loud speech
- Increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep
- Difficultly maintaining a schedule, sometimes resulting in having trouble
keeping a job
- Living beyond one’s dreams
It is sad to see how much personality affects settlement of matrimonial
cases. This is particularly true when one or both partners have a mood
and character disorder.
If you are thinking of divorcing your bipolar spouse, it’s important
to approach them with knowledge and sensitivity.
If you are in a marriage that looks similar to the couple’s story
I just shared with you,
I can help you.
My combination of legal and medical strategies is unusual and effective
when it comes to divorce. The understanding and proper guidance for this
complicated aspect is important for a psychologically safe and legally
I have the unique ability to provide a compassionate and productive process
to see you through your divorce.
Free 1 hour consultations are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
Call now to book your free consultation. 212.734.1551
I look forward to working with you, and helping you find productive solutions
if mental illness is sadly affecting your marriage!
Stay healthy and safe!
Call New York Divorce Lawyer today to schedule your free consultation and
to learn more about divorcing a bipolar spouse.