Q: My wife has several life-limiting health conditions. I have been her main carer for three years, along with support provided on a rota basis. I also look after our two children. Following a stroke my wife became violent and abusive and the situation is now untenable. I have dangerously high blood pressure, psoriasis and have recently contemplated suicide. Harsh as it may seem, I cannot go on and have taken the heartbreaking decision to leave her. Our marriage is over. The big question is should I start divorce proceedings. I need the best outcome for us all.
A: The breakdown of a marriage is never easy. It can be stressful and upsetting, particularly if you are caring for a disabled spouse. A separation is undoubtably going to have an impact on your wife and her ability to manage her needs. It is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as a disability can have a significant impact on any financial settlement in any divorce, depending on the nature of your wife’s disability and prognosis.
You say your wife’s disabilities are life-limiting, in which case if there is any dispute about the impact her disability may have on a settlement between you both, it may be that a medical report within any financial proceedings arising from the divorce is required to assess what support she needs after the separation and how that is going to be met.
Whilst consideration will be given to looking at your wife’s needs over the short, medium and long-term depending on the circumstances, you can rest assured that your own needs and the needs of the children, whom you say are reliant upon you to care for them, will be relevant. Cases of this nature are difficult, but with the right support and advice you can consider the best way forward. Do seek the help you clearly need right now.
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