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Are You Thinking of Divorcing Your Bipolar Spouse?


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 four months.

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 successful outcome.

I have the unique ability to provide a compassionate and productive process to see you through your divorce.

All our 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!

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Lawyer today to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about divorcing a bipolar spouse.

Call 212.734.1551.