Kim Kardashian and Kayne West Divorce: Tips for Divorcing a Spouse with Bipolar Disorder

After months of speculation, it seems certain that celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kayne West are seeking a divorce. Like any other celebrity couple, they will have to figure out how to divide their high-income properties, hammer out a child custody arrangement, and try to manage their emotions as their business is splashed across the internet. But this couple has an extra challenge to deal with–West’s mental illness.

West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after being hospitalized for two weeks in 2016 for a “psychiatric emergency.” Since that time, his erratic and manic behavior, including his ill-fated run for President, continue to make headlines. Although West acknowledges the diagnosis, he openly rejects taking medication for it, as he believes it interferes with his creativity. Kardashian is said to be unable to cope with his behavior any longer.

Divorcing a person with bipolar disorder can make the divorce process much more challenging. The condition causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. People with the disorder may experience “manic” episodes where they may be euphoric, hyperactive, talk unusually fast, sleep little, and feel invincible. The person may subsequently–and abruptly–fall into a “depressive” episode, where they feel depressed, uncommunicative, and have trouble getting out of bed.

The stress of divorce may–but not always– exaggerate symptoms in a person with bipolar disorder. Some people find it extremely difficult to have a reasonable conversation with their ill spouse during the divorce process or became exhausted by their wide swings of opinion when trying to make important decisions.

In extreme cases, your spouse may express feeling suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic and may make threats toward you and the family. Your spouse might also engage in reckless behaviors, such as engaging in substance abuse, making excessive purchases, or damaging property.

If you are divorcing a person with bipolar disorder, here are three quick tips for handling the situation.

  1. Protect yourself. If you feel that your spouse’s behavior is putting you or your children in danger, you must take immediate steps to protect yourself. This may include getting a restraining order or leaving the family home. You should discuss with your lawyer the best path for you.
  2. Communicate through your divorce lawyer. If you can no longer communicate with your spouse, have your divorce lawyer speak for you. Having a proxy will reduce your stress and may even reduce your spouse’s.
  3. Manage your emotions. When divorcing a mentally ill spouse, you’re sure to feel a range of emotions, particularly guilt, anxiety, and loss. Be sure to acknowledge these feelings and find ways to manage them, whether through joining a support group, seeing a therapist, or using a journal to record your emotions.

If you are considering divorcing a spouse with a mental illness have any other questions about family law,  contact Miller Law Group today.

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