Going through a divorce is tough under any circumstances, even if you and your spouse are both healthy and are anticipating an uncontested divorce. When a divorce involves a spouse with a disability, the process can become significantly more complicated, and there are additional considerations that will need to be discussed with an experienced divorce lawyer. In addition to financial issues, you may need to look into options for your spouse’s care if you have been their primary caregiver during the marriage. One of our experienced Michgan divorce lawyers can provide you with additional information.
Considering Your Spouse’s Care
Many people who have disabilities require extensive care, and you may have been your spouse’s caregiver during the marriage. It can be extremely difficult to be a caregiver, and you may be burned out and experiencing mental health issues yourself as a result of the care you have been providing. If you are thinking about divorce and your spouse’s disability prevents them from caring for themselves or requires assistance with activities of daily living, you may need to look into options for your spouse’s care moving forward. It may be possible to identify appropriate in-home caregivers or to look into care at a nursing home or assisted living facility depending on your spouse’s specific needs.
Alimony or Spousal Maintenance
In most divorce cases in Michigan where one of the spouses is disabled and cannot work, the other spouse will be ordered to pay alimony. Under Michigan law, the court can require a spouse “to pay alimony for the suitable maintenance of the adverse party, [and] to pay such sums as shall be deemed proper and necessary to conserve any real or personal property owned by the parties or other of them, and to pay any sums necessary to enable the adverse party to carry on or defend the action, during its pendency.”
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, may include costs to cover your spouse’s care, especially if your spouse is not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare based on income or age.
If your disabled spouse is not yet old enough to be eligible for Medicare, you may need to continue providing health insurance for your spouse. Options for doing this may be limited once a divorce is finalized, so it is important to speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances and your spouse’s particular needs.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are divorcing a spouse who has a disability, it is important to learn more about how your spouse’s disability might impact various aspects of your divorce. As we have discussed, your spouse’s disability could result in the court ordering you to pay alimony for your spouse’s maintenance, and it may be necessary to find another caregiver for your spouse if you are currently your spouse’s primary caregiver. You should discuss the specific details of your case with an experienced Michigan divorce attorney. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about how we can assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information.