Divorcing an Invalid Spouse

Many people think of divorce and family law attorneys like wolves at the doorstep, waiting to pounce upon the former spouses of their clients like a meal.  They see attorneys as sensitive to the needs of their clients, but largely callous to and outside of the difficulties faced by the couple involved in the split. Most people don’t ever think of the more painful faultless divorce proceedings that cannot fail to touch anyone involved, issues that would move even the most aggressive Colorado divorce attorneys.

A recent article in the Tampa Bay Times brings up an article of importance to anyone who has gone through the pain of divorce, or of having to care for an invalid spouse. Specifically, the article discusses the ethics and morality of divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease.

Certainly this is a difficult scenario, and a horrible situation and decision for anyone to have to face. Even in case, such as one discussed in the article, where the spouse with the illness requests the divorce, the other spouse may not want to let go. Even if the two reach an agreement to go through the process of an uncontested divorce, the process is bound to be painful. How does one personally reconcile a divorce when neither spouse truly wants to separate, but in which circumstances will eventually create a situation where one spouse loses all memory of and attachment to the other?

There are issues to tackle—for example, how much responsibility for caring for the invalid spouse does the (physically) unaffected one bear? Divorce has rarely been an acceptable means of fleeing from financial responsibility—in the same way as one spouse may be responsible for alimony, care for the invalid should be part of the agreement. But still, the pain of loss is the worst—it has to be unbelievably acute for one whose spouse is physically alive, but mentally and emotionally no longer there.

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