What will happen if my husband is bipolar and he wants a divorce? 26 Answers as of June 18, 2013

My husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder which causes him to make very extreme decisions. He has currently decided he wants a divorce. We have started to divorce process and are currently discussing a legal separation. I'm not sure of the separation could benefit me or not. We both live in the same house which he wants me to move out of. He has taken computers, blueray players, my computer, my ipad, etc out of the home. He has stopped paying all the bills most of which are in my name. He has closed out all the accounts and taken my name off the ones he has. I have absolutely zero access to our money. We own a franchise which we have 18 of. However they are not in my name so he feels I have no right to them or the money they are making. He has three kids from a previous marriage which I love as if they were my own. He has told me that I am hurting the kids by not moving out and being cooperative with the divorce. I believe right the opposite... the divorce is hurting the kids so I am trying to do everything I can to prevent this from happening. I genuinely believe his mental illness is causing him to feel this way and I am fighting for our marriage to work.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. So, if you are using some DIY kit that contains a separation agreement, it is of no effect or legal significance in Texas and you are wasting your time and money. Hire a lawyer to do this right. That said, it takes two to be married one to quit and there is no legal standard for competency in divorce actions. Unless you have a guardianship and can prove (i.e. another Judge has already said it) that your husband is incompetent to file the divorce, you have no choice. Now as for the business, that is community property if bought/acquired during the marriage and even if it is somehow his separate property the income is community so he is dead wrong on the fact you are not entitled to any of it. You need to get a lawyer and get one now, file for temporary orders including support/division of the income, etc.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/9/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
You must meet with an experienced divorce attorney.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/18/2013
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
This situation is evolving rapidly and requires the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to assess your best legal options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/1/2012
Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
I have dealt with a bipolar divorce client, and suggest that you retain experienced counsel. It may be possible to discover whether your husband is taking his medications or if they should be adjusted. Ultimately, however misguided, if he is determined for the minimum 6 month waiting period, he can testify that "there has been a breakdown in the marriag relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved," and that's all it takes under?Michigan's no-fault divorce statute. Until or unless the court orders it, However, you should not leave the marital home. Such an order is unlikely if you have no funds and you refrain from actions which would be harmful to the children (arguing in front of them, etc.). Try to keep the peace and don't agree to a legal separation unless he gives you a substantial spousal support allowance and returns all of your personal property. Regardless of whose name is on the titles, deeds, contracts, or other assets (franchises), all assets and debts acquired during the marriage will be divided about equally in the divorce, unless one party or the other is substantially at fault. If you are without funds, consult an experienced attorney who can petition the court to have your husband pay attorney fees and court costs. It sounds like there should be sufficient assets available to support the cost of two attorneys. If his children are not yours, it will be an uphill battle to obtain parenting time with them, but an experienced attorney would be most helpful here too. Because you have stood in loco parentis for these children (you don't say for how long the longer, the better), you have an argument to get some contact.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/1/2012
Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
Your problems are serious and complex. You are not going to be able to resolve them with internet advise. You need to see a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 11/1/2012
    Law Office of Angela M. Riccio | Angela M. Riccio
    I must say, that in such a circumstance, with the assets being in jeopardy, it may be your best course of action to file for a divorce and seek injunctive relief immediately. Remember, that you can always withdraw your divorce action (although any orders, including any that may restrain him from disposing of the assets acquired during the marriage, will then no longer be in effect). Another option may be guardianship proceedings. I recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    If he has filed for divorce, you need to retain an attorney to represent you. It sounds like the business is what provides the income for the family and you have a right to some of that income. Regardless of his mental disorder, the decisions he is making are contrary to what the law would provide to you. You need to have a court issue an order preventing the sale or other disposal of assets and to award you some form of temporary spousal support upon which you can live. Since it is the marital home, you may want to seek an order for exclusive possession thereby removing your husband from the home. Only when he realizes that there are consequences to his actions will he be forced to evaluate what he is doing. Right now, he is controlling the shots through the money and the process is having no effect on him. Again, you need legal representation to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    Graves Law Firm
    Graves Law Firm | Steve Graves
    If you're in Texas as is indicated in the heading above your question as it came to me, it doesn't matter in whose name property is held; what matters is whether it was acquired during the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    You need an attorney to help you with this. His mental health will make the divorce very difficult especially when he's manic. Keep track of everything he takes its probably half yours. Just because your name is not on something does not mean you don't have an interest in it. Get your hearing for support and attorney fees set ASAP. With the divorce filing there are automatic temporary restraining orders prohibiting changing accounts moving money etc. he sounds like he's already violating them Opinion only not legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Get an attorney now. You need to protect yourself while you are attempting to save the children, the marriage and help your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    While you may not wish the dissolution but you need to take legal action to protect your rights. Unless your spouse's illness is severe enough to render him incapacitated then as an adult he is entitled to get a dissolution. You need to consult a family law attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    Pollock & Associates LLC | Candice Ragsdale-Pollock, CWL
    Here is a two fold reply: 1) he is able to obyain a divorce whether or not you agree with a divorce. However, a legal sepaarqtion will take care of everything excpt the dissolution of the bonds of marriage; 2) you need to find your sel a good attorney who will protect yu and the children's rights in this matter, Iaf not everyone may come out losing.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/1/2012
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    It sounds like a complicated situation. I strongly advise you to consult an attorney so that you understand your rights and your options. If this is something you think can be saved (and is good for you), then a mental health professional will also be essential.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You need to retain an attorney, and file a divorce action against your husband. You will need to ask the court to give you greater control over your family finances. You will also need to ask the court for a restraining order against your husband, along with a temporary custody order for your children.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You need a good divorce attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Did it occur to you that an attorney who does family law would be able to help you? Get one.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    You need to take immediate action to take control of the assets and debts. You will undoubtedly need an attorney to assist you but there are statutes which can help you get attorney fees paid by your husband. Please do not hesitate any longer. You are in danger-physically, emotionally and financially
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    He can get one if he wants one in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2013
    Law Office of Beth Jackson Day | Beth Jackson Day
    You can file for divorce based on cruelty and constructive desertion. you'll need a lawyer quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The simple answer is that, at least here in Colorado, he will get the divorce. The real questions relate to the final terms of the divorce and your description of the situation clearly indicates that there is too much complexity and potential conflict for you to attempt to proceed without hiring your own lawyer to help guide you through the process. All of the concerns you describe can be dealt with in the divorce process, but you cannot adequately do that on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    He'll get a divorce. What form the economic settlement will take can't be determined based on the information you provided. You should contact a local divorce lawyer and discuss the alternatives.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Unfortunately, either way, one cannot be forced to stay married, so even if there are mental health issues, I don?t believe that from your facts, you would be able to stop the process. However, if it is very extreme, and you can prove that he doesn?t understand what he is doing, then there may be a chance to stop any divorce, but that?s a stretch. As for marital debt/assets, title is not dispositive of ownership, and only debts in both of your names are marital. Your case sounds very complicated...you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
    Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
    My suggestion is to speak with an attorney in person so that you can discuss these issues in depth including whether a legal separation is beneficial to you. His mental health issues may become a factor if he continues to behave unreasonably. Arizona is a community property state, so anything accrued during the marriage is subject to equitable division. It does not matter whose name is on the account or asset. You might need to do a business valuation to assess how much the franchise(s) are worth and what you should be paid as your community interest. As far as stopping a divorce, you can attempt counseling by filing a petition for conciliation services, however anyone who wants a divorce in Arizona is entitled to seek one. In the end, if your husband does not want to reconcile, the divorce will proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    You need an attorney right now. He is shutting you put and you need help. There is community property at risk.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    YOU, you need to know what the law is and what could happen if he keeps going with this. By the way, he is pushing and beating on you, which hurts you. And the kids.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/31/2012
    John A. Ferguell P.S. | John Ferguell
    There is nothing you can do to prevent him from filing for divorce. Washington is a no fault state. What you can do is be as cooperative as possible and then also let the case drag on. In King County, it takes about a year to get a trial date and a lot can happen in the interim time. You can also ask the court to order counseling and put in your reply to the Petition that you do not believe the marriage to be irretrievably broken. There are lots of other options available to exhaust before a final decree will be entered.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/31/2012
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