Kanye.

It’s very odd to sit down and write a newsletter about Kanye West. Sure, some of his songs are pretty catchy. Yes, he is super famous and his family is every where on social media. Normally, we don’t think about him at all though BUT his recent, erratic behavior makes him worth discussing from a legal perspective.

In case you have been cut off from social media and traditional news, West has experiencing some animated, manic behaviors as of late. His wife has confirmed that he is bipolar and his behavior suggests that West is currently manic and off of medications which would control the extreme range of behavior.

Rumors are spreading quickly that a divorce is on the horizon. If a divorce does happen, we would expect that there will be a discussion about custody of the children and some bumps in the divorce process (even if there is a prenuptial agreement).

Mental Health May Have an Effect on the Divorce Process 
The courts will not force someone to stay married to anyone, including a person with a mental health condition; however, the process is often a bit more of a roller coaster.
1. Concern over physical safety during the process and when that person lives alone. Depending on the person’s condition, he or she may be more likely to harm themselves or others. There are safe guards and orders that can be put into place to keep everyone as safe as possible;
2. Financial needs of the person with mental health concerns may require that a greater portion of the marital assets be allocated to him or her. Alimony may also be necessary if he or she is unable to work or has significant medical expenses; and
3. The process itself may take longer.  The person may not participate because they can’t find the strength to do so; this can be extremely frustrating for a party who just wants to get through the process as quickly as possible.

Mental Health May Have an Effect on Child Custody.
The courts evaluate each case individually to assess the best interest of the child(ren), which may include a variety of factors related to mental health of a parent:
1. Whether the condition is a short term matter or a lifelong condition;
2. Whether the parent  is actively committed to her treatment or therapeutic plan;
3. Whether the parent’s ability to care for himself or herself is compromised by the condition;
4. Whether and how the condition of the parent effects the safety and overall best interest of the child(ren) and their general safety; and
5. Whether the condition is being caused by use or abuse of drugs.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions regarding how mental health effects child custody and divorce or anything else.

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