Disability and divorce

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Divorce

Most divorces in Indiana happen for the usual reasons: money problems, infidelity, domestic violence, incompatibility or the spouses growing apart. But sometimes, a trauma occurs that changes a married couple’s relationship in ways that it cannot survive.

For example, divorce can happen after one spouse suddenly becomes disabled in an accident or because of an illness. It is not necessarily due to a weakness of character or prejudice against people with disabilities. The stress and uncertainty of the couple’s changed circumstances can be too much to take. So can the responsibility of having to care for a spouse with a profound disability, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Most brain injury victims stay married long-term

However, a recent study found that most married people who sustained a TBI stayed married. According to the study, conducted at Indiana University’s School of Medicine, two-thirds of people who were married at the time of their brain trauma were still married to the same spouse a decade later.

Not everybody stayed married after a TBI. Researchers found that of those TBI patients who got divorced, 39 percent were divorced within a year of their injury, and 68 percent of the divorces occurred within five years. However, an article about the study does not discuss how many of these divorces were primarily tied to problems caused by brain trauma.

What the study did say was that, in many cases, brain injury does not directly lead to marital problems. Instead, TBI patients often develop a prescription drug addiction, which can put a strain on a marriage.

The issues that need solutions in divorce

Everyone who files for divorce has their own reasons. But most people going through divorce must deal with the same issues of property division, child custody and child support.

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