Q&A - I must leave disabled wife for sake of my own health. Is divorce the best route?

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.

Article 05/04/2021

This question has been answered by Nathan Wright, a Partner with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry, please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website or call Wrexham 01978 291456 or Oswestry 01691 659194. As a firm, you will appreciate that we are still extremely busy, and due to current circumstances work may be interrupted – however cases are still ongoing and will be prioritised by urgency and need. Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Nathan Wright, Partner at GHP Legal

Nathan Wright


A Partner specialising in Family and Matrimonial Law

Alison Peters

Alison Peters


A Partner in our Family and Matrimonial department in Oswestry