Chronic Illness and Divorce: There is a Connection

Chronic Illness and Divorce: There is a Connection

Reasons that couples file for divorce are varied and complex. One contributing factor is a chronic illness. Studies show that when married couples are confronted with a chronic illness, over 75% choose to end the marriage in divorce. Given the correlation between the two, married couples should consider having a conversation about what actions should be taken if one partner should become seriously ill.

The impact of chronic illness on a marriage

Marriage is a partnership that is rarely evenly divided 50/50. Depending upon circumstances, sometimes one partner does more than their fair share in support of the other. Chronic illnesses such as cancer, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases put a tremendous strain on marriage, one that often breaks it all together. A partner that was previously independent may require full-time care and the role of that caregiver frequently falls upon the married partner. Add to that financial woes due to unexpected medical bills, a change of lifestyle, and altered dynamic within the marriage, and it is no surprise there is a correlation between divorce and chronic illness.

Consider medical history and genetic disposition to chronic illness

While married couples may contemplate what should happen to their estate after they die, they typically do not discuss what should happen if one partner becomes chronically ill. While not a pleasant topic under any circumstances, your medical history or family history of a genetic disease are important considerations when looking to the future of a marriage. If either partner has an underlying medical condition or greater risk for inheriting an illness, it is better to have this conversation ahead of time instead of when faced with a medical diagnosis.

Divorcing when one partner is chronically ill

Whether the decision to divorce as a result of chronic illness is due to the impact the illness itself has on the health of the marriage, or whether the decision is due to the financial obligations that come with chronic illness, it is important to take measures to ensure your physical, emotional and financial well-being as part of the divorce. Specifically, give careful consideration to the following:

  • Prognosis of the condition
  • Timeline of the prognosis
  • Custody issues if there are children as a result of the marriage
  • Financial implications including medical bills, insurance, and employment

Facing divorce as a result of chronic illness

A diagnosis of chronic illness can be earth-shattering, overwhelming, emotional, and stressful. When facing a divorce as a result of that diagnosis, it is important to have an experienced professional by your side to act in your best interests. Tampa divorce attorney Mark G. Rodriguez of the Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez brings more than 30 years experience in Florida family law and is compassionate to your unique situation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (813) 227-9642 or contact us online.