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Delta-Lawyer, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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My wife says she wants a divorce but hasn't filed. She has

Customer Question

My wife says she wants a divorce but hasn't filed. She has a mental illness and her behavior is creating a toxic environment in the house. What would be my wisest option?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.
The best laid plan as of the moment, especially if you have kids involved, is to make your best effort to stick it out with her. This will bode well for you if you do end up in divorce proceedings at a later date.
Understand that being the first to file in a divorce proceeding does not necessarily give you a leg up in the case anymore. They court will look at the facts and circumstances regardless and make a reasonable determination.
So, at the moment, try to figure out your affairs, finances, debts, assets, etc., in the event she does file for divorce. Make efforts to solve the problems in the marriage too and document those efforts. This includes seeking counseling (many churches offer free marriage counseling), seeking mental health for your wife (even if she refuses), etc.
If a divorce petition is filed by either of you guys, following those actions will be the best course of action.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Best wishes going forward and please also rate my answer positively as well.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have tried marriage counseling with her on two occassions over the years. She quits when it gets tough on her. Since then she has tried working on her own anxiety and bi-polar issues as recently as 8 months ago. She went into intensive outpatient therapy with medication and since leaving has not continued any counseling. It was recommended by her doctor to seek marriage counseling with me. She refused. She was admitted to the psychiatric unit for threating and plotting to kill her father as she believed he was the source of her anxiety problems. Now that relationship has been mended, she hasn't seeked additional counseling to cope with her anxiety and claims that I am the source of her anxiety.We have tried to talk about this but she believes that by cutting me out of her life she will no longer be unhappy and be able to live a happy life. She refuses to work in couples therapy and refuses to get therapy on her own. Her relationship with my 15 year old son has become very strained and he does not want to be around her or feel safe being around her when I am not around.Things are not getting better in our home environment. She does not want to leave and isn't asking me to get out. I feel like she is biding her time for some silly reason but honestly I can't predict what is going on in her mind other than I know that she is not well and refuses any form of treatment outside of medications from her doctor.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
Good deal. Well, you certainly have checked all of the boxes from a legal perspective that will help you if a divorce is filed. As to a filing, the most important thing is the well-being of your son. Since she has a proven history of mental illness, you stand a very good chance of getting custody of him if a divorce were to happen.
Having worked in this world for years, divorces in my experience, rarely make things better when children are still in the house.
However, if you have a reasonable fear for the safety of your son, then it is certainly a viable option to seek a divorce.
Legally speaking, it would actually be better for her to file first, for you and your son. You do not want to be seen, necessarily, as the person that deserted his wife while she struggles with mental illness. That said, if you can document the reasons you fear for the safety of your son, then I think most courts would side with you in the matter.
Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.
Please also rate my response positively as well.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
Did you have any other questions or comments. I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible moving forward. Thanks!