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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My wife has some type of personality disorder -- close to borderline

Customer Question

My wife has some type of personality disorder -- close to borderline personality disorder. She lies to get symphany & affirmation of her delusions. If you dont agree with her, you are "mentally iill" or "unsupportive." It goes without saying that she does not admit she has any issues at all. This behavior is not consistent, of course. She can be in a normal conversation, or even a complimentary/positive exchange, one minute & then go "you are just pure evil" & then go back to a normal exchange again. (I even have a recent hour-long exchange where this is shown.)

Though I have been close to getting her to couples counseling (she has seen individual counselors over the years, but "therapist shops to find those who only affirm her), I have been unsuccessful.

Ive been trynig to help her by staying living with her, but have realized I need to find my own place first. We actually agreed this was a good next step (remember, she thinks I need help most of the time), but now she has fled for legal separation.

Im hoping this may be a possibility to respond with affidavids from friends, family, medical doctors. I dont even understand my response options "within the next 90 days."
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your matter. There was a lot of information there, and I am not quite certain exactly how I can help. It seems like you are just looking for some general direction on what to do now that you have been served, or at least until you can figure things out. Does that sound about right?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

basically, yes....can I respond to the courts with info about her mental state -- not necessarily to dispute the separation (not sure if an option), but to get it on the record so that maybe she will get some help...

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
never received one
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Hello again:

Thank you for your patience, and I am sorry that I was not online when you finally returned. First, a response to a petition for legal separation must be served and filed within 30 days--not 90 days. You may use form FL-120 to respond. The following link will take you to a copy of that form:

California is a no-fault divorce state, so the only question before the court is whether there are legally sufficient grounds to grant the divorce. The options are (1) irreconcilable differences, or (2) incurable insanity. Unless you are requesting legal separation or divorce on the basis of incurable insanity, your wife's mental state is not relevant to the divorce petition itself.

If child custody is an issue, then you can make your wife's mental wellness an issue for purposes of child custody. Hypothetically, if she is unemployed or underemployed as a result of her treatable mental state and if child support or spousal support were issues in your case then you could make an issue of receiving treatment for her mental state as part of the argument that it is necessary for her to maximize her financial support for herself or your children together. However, under neither circumstance could she be forced to get treatment (although there could be financial consequences to her if she did not). So it gives me no pleasure to say it, but there is no perfect solution for that; adults are generally allowed to choose to remain mentally ill as long as they are not placing themselves or others in physical danger. Again, it gives me no pleasure to announce this, but please keep in mind that the experts are not credited for unaccepted answers and even where I can not get for you the ideal result, my hope is that you can at least feel confident in your knowledge of your rights so you can get the best legal outcome under the circumstances, whatever that outcome may be.

Going back to the original issue, it is very important that you get the response filed and served within those 30 days. From there, the case next step depends on what course of action she decides to take.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
nothing now
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the info you gave me is nothing that I did not already know...I am not interested in paying for something that was accurate, but not helpful to me...can I sign up for the free month of service, so you dont have an undeserved negative "accept answer" on your record?....thx - michael
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Why did you ask the question if you already knew the answer?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
interesting response...please answer my question & not be so snippy...thx...michael
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, but I decline.