What constitutes incurable insanity in a North Carolina divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Family Law |

No matter how distressing your marriage can be, you strive to keep a sound mind. But try as you might, your ex-spouse may still struggle and eventually spiral out of control. If your relationship’s disintegration takes a toll on your ex-spouse’s mental health, can you file for divorce?

Incurable insanity as grounds for absolute divorce

North Carolina couples can file for an absolute divorce on two grounds – they must live separately for at least a year before filing or one spouse suffers from incurable insanity. Here are determinants to prove that your ex-partner is mentally ill:

  • Confinement or examination at a mental health facility for three consecutive years prior to filing
  • If not confined, examined for at least three years prior to filing and declared incurably insane
  • If not confined, adjudicated for more than three years prior to filing by two reputable physicians, with one being a psychiatrist, insanity continued without interference and has not been declared sane since then
  • Testimonies of two reputable physicians, one assigned where the incurably insane spouse has been confined and the other holds no connection to the mental health facility, three years before filing

Since your ex-spouse does not have the mental faculties to communicate and protect their interests, they need an appointed legal guardian to speak on their behalf. If proven that you contributed to their mental impairment, the court could possibly deny your petition.

Additionally, if your ex-spouse doesn’t have sufficient financial resources for their condition’s care and maintenance, the court considers you to provide the necessary support for the remainder of their life.

Mutual healing

Quantifying the vast torment associated with a loved one’s mental impairment is difficult. While trying to be an enduring foundation for your family, overwhelming unfortunate circumstances can also damage your overall well-being. Having a legal advocate look after the soundness of your decisions while protecting your rights proves all-important.