Divorcing someone with permanent health issues

Divorce can be difficult under any circumstances, but permanent health issues can complicate matters. If your marriage is ending and your spouse has serious chronic medical problems, you may wonder how to proceed. 

You have options. You may consider a long separation rather than divorce, though that can come with a great deal of uncertainty. You may prefer to go through with a collaborative divorce. In such a divorce, you and your spouse have control over the final outcome and can address health issues. Your spouse’s ailment can affect several aspects of your settlement and your post-divorce life. 

Parenting time 

Your spouse’s ailment can be a factor in parenting time decisions. Some conditions may make your spouse unable to care for your children. For example, a cancer patient may be too weak and miserable to care for children during the week following chemotherapy. In that case, you might care for the children after each session. Remaining flexible is crucial in these situations. 

Health insurance

In Florida, you may not extend your health coverage to your spouse once the divorce is final. A new insurance policy may not cover your spouse’s preexisting condition. If your spouse is able to attain health insurance, the policy is likely to be costly. 


Courts use several factors to make an alimony determination. One consideration is the mental and physical health of each party. Another is the earning potential of you and your spouse. Your spouse’s chronic health condition may prevent full-time employment. 

Collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse to address the issues surrounding permanent ailments. Working together, you can achieve a settlement that benefits you, your spouse and your children. 

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