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A Painful Decision, a Gentle Approach: Mediating Divorce when a Spouse is Sick or Disabled

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Divorce is ingrained in popular culture as two individuals going their separate ways. The individuals are free agents: after divorce they go out and live separate lives. Whether they fail or succeed, it’s their choice. A different, and perhaps even more painful decision is when one partner is seriously ill or incapacitated or disabled. The huge emotional baggage attached to such a decision – for both partners – requires an extremely gentle and cautious approach to uncoupling.

Luckily, divorce mediation is a process that can be tailored to your individual needs. You don’t have involve yourself in an adversarial divorce or separate in a coldly legalistic manner. The mediators at Boileau Conflict Solutions combine financial expertise with psychoanalytical knowledge to help couples deal with the unique challenges of divorce when facing into huge obstacles like disability and serious illness.

One very encouraging sign of the times is people willing to be honest about divorcing or being divorced when there is disability and serious illness (see the articles below). Whatever happens, you can be sure you are not alone in dealing with this painful process. How to arrange support for your spouse or yourself in the event of a life-shattering break-up can be treated with care and honesty when you choose to mediate your divorce. Some of the struggles people face include:

  • Arranging care and future security – When you have been a primary caregiver for an ill or disabled spouse, or as a disabled or ill person who has been dependent on their spouse, the transition between care-givers is absolutely critical. Daily routines involving medication for example must be transferred with care. Timing the divorce to take advantage of social security benefits and ensuring that assets optimize future care is another undertaking that requires care and attention. Our mediators are detail-oriented financial and legal experts who will leave no stone unturned in helping you come to the best solution for you both going forward.
  • Addressing health care directives and estate planning issues – There are various different issues to be faced when you are sick or a spouse is sick or disabled. A spouse could be completely non-communicative, opening up very tricky decisions about who should be responsible for healthcare decisions or named in their will. Or you as a spouse may want to make sure an ex-spouse has no control over these decisions. This is a very difficult situation that can be mediated with more family members than just the two of you.
  • Family conflict, blame and stress – Divorce when one spouse is disabled or sick is an incredibly delicate situation. Even if the two of you are in accord, other family members can lay blame and take sides. At BCS, conflict resolution is psychoanalytically focused and gives you both space to be heard and acknowledged. We use tools like game theory to depersonalize conflict and work out a solution that is acceptable to you both.
  • Mobility and accessibility issues — If you’re selling property or making improvements, some of these may involve mobility and accessibility changes. This may be a condition or extra expense in your divorce. Choosing divorce mediation over a purely legalistic approach brings many of these important issues to the table.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway and can work with those with busy and/or complex lives, whose divorces may be taking place under time pressure or with other legal, financial and emotional considerations. You can visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

Read More:

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/09/was-i-right-divorce-my-dying-wife/597604/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/opinion/my-husband-wasnt-my-savior-i-am.html

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