Search Site
830 Post Road East, Suite 301 | Westport, Connecticut 06880
2435 Route 6, 2nd Floor | Brewster, New York 10509
Call For Consultation 203-557-9500845-860-0000
Divorcing Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder – CT

Divorcing a Spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder in Connecticut

Understanding the symptoms of this serious mental health problem

Ending a marriage is almost never easy, but divorcing a spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) could make the process tougher in numerous ways. The Connecticut family law attorneys at Needle | Cuda know the varied effects that stem from this serious problem and help clients pursue a divorce resolution that acknowledges your spouse’s BPD symptoms and their effect on your family.

Needle | Cuda has experience negotiating with parties suffering from a Borderline Personality Disorder and understands how extra patience and persistence is often necessary to reach a suitable settlement. Working with attorneys with experience in this area will help you manage this unique dynamic with a proactive strategy and give you an important leg up in the process.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental health problem that is characterized by an intense fear of abandonment. A person suffering from BPD might alternate between hostile and clingy behavior toward someone close to them, which obviously can put tremendous strain on a marriage. Even when it is clear that the marital relationship has broken down, developing a healthy divorce mindset can be difficult for someone whose spouse is afflicted with BPD as they pursue appropriate parenting and financial terms while still feeling sympathy for their spouse.

What are the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Although medical experts are not sure what causes BPD, there are several symptoms associated with the mental health disorder, such as:

  • Dramatic, unexplained shifts in moods and opinions
  • Unstable relationships
  • Self-harm, possibly including suicidal thoughts
  • Failure to accept reality

No matter how BPD presents itself in your husband or wife, we will work to protect you during the divorce and secure favorable terms for you with the highest degrees of professionalism and sensitivity.

Impact of Borderline Personality Disorder on the financial aspects of a divorce

Often, behaviors and attitudes caused by BPD can make the divorce process more difficult. Attempting to reach a settlement on property division or alimony can seem impossible when one party’s opinions and moods shift drastically from one conversation to the next. Should the case go to court, a judge will focus closely on a spouse’s ability to earn a suitable income when deciding on financial terms. If your spouse has BPD, then you should be aware of a potential adverse decision on property division, alimony or child support because the judge believes your spouse’s condition prevents them from holding a steady job.

How Borderline Personality Disorder can affect child custody

Children whose parents have BPD might be at risk depending on the severity of the condition and whether it is being controlled through medication or other means. Though it can be a painful subject, you might consider sole legal custody if your co-parent’s erratic behavior affects their decision-making or willingness to communicate on important issues. In cases where a possibility of psychological or physical harm to your son or daughter exists, a court could hold that an order for limited parenting time and/or supervised visitation could be in the child’s best interests.

Should I consider alternatives to traditional divorce and/or litigation if my spouse has Borderline Personality Disorder?

Not all divorces with BPD are high-conflict, but there is greater potential for it, if the affected spouse is not actively being treated.  Traditional methods for divorce may not always be best when one or both spouses suffer from BPD.

Exploring divorce mediation or binding arbitration may offer a viable, more efficient alternative.

An experienced divorce attorney can help you explore these options highlight the risks and benefits of each.

What signs point to a high-conflict divorce with BPD?

Signs of a high-conflict divorce include one or both parties:

  • Frequently places blame on others;
  • Tries to manipulate or control others;
  • Struggles to accept responsibility or being held accountable;
  • Engages in threats and is broadly combative;

It’s common for spouses in high-conflict divorces to experience difficulty reaching an agreement over many issues that must be resolved in a divorce like custody, alimony, distribution of marital assets, or even deciding to purse divorce in the first place.

Always seek legal advice from a divorce and family law attorney as soon as you decide to file for divorce. Needle | Cuda can assist you in finding strategies to navigate your high-conflict divorce as smoothly as possible.

How do I “beat” a spouse in family court who is suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder?

Divorcing a spouse with BPD is never an easy task, however, there are steps you can take to put you in the best possible position to succeed and minimize stress during the process:

  • Educate yourself on the boundaries of the family court and the laws that apply to your case so you understand what the law can and cannot do for you.
  • Document everything! Contemporaneous, written and verbal evidence (recordings) is very powerful and persuasive in family courts.
  • Hire a divorce attorney with extensive experience with cases involving borderline personality disorder.

How does Needle | Cuda handle the emotional aspects of clients who are divorcing a spouse with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Divorcing a partner with Borderline Personality Disorder carries with it intense emotional pressures and anxiety on multiple levels.  Keeping conversations civil and focused; avoiding unnecessary emotional escalations; and, combating efforts to gaslight requires constant discipline and focus.

While primary focus should remain on the substantive legal elements of your divorce (e.g., income division, property division and child custody), Needle | Cuda understands the importance of having a safe space to which to retreat in order to find solace during times of turbulence. Needle | Cuda will help surround you with an experienced team, utilize tactics to keep the process from spinning out of control and being “attacked” and coping tools to maintain your mental health and keep an even keel throughout the process.

How to set and maintain boundaries with your spouse when they suffer from Borderline Personality?

The following tactics may be helpful in managing through a divorce when your spouse has Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • Consider physical separation and/or one party leaving the marital home.
  • Only communicate through your attorney.
  • Make it clear to your spouse that you will not discuss your marriage or divorce without your attorney being present.
  • When your attorney cannot be present, communicate only in writing (i.e., email, text, etc.)
  • When communicating in writing: keep it short; stick to the business at hand and address practical matters only; don’t get off topic; never respond emotionally, and always take a step back before you press “send.”
  • Avoid one-on-one conversations with your spouse at all costs.
  • Don’t deviate from the boundaries that you and your attorney set;

Preparing for divorce when a spouse has Borderline Personality Disorder

Though dealing with a partner afflicted with BPD can be unpredictable, there are preparations you can make to help your divorce proceed more smoothly. Your first priority should be hiring a Connecticut divorce lawyer who has experience successfully handling cases involving borderline spouses. Our firm guides clients on communication strategies and legal options that can be useful when divorcing someone with BPD.

When appropriate, we will seek a mental health evaluation to inform the court on your spouse’s symptoms and medical outlook. You might wish to seek a protective order that prevents physical contact with your spouse if they are acting erratically. If you have children, we will pursue a safe co-parenting solution that creates a reliable support system for your son or daughter.

Speak with a Connecticut attorney if you’re divorcing a spouse with BPD

Needle | Cuda in Westport understands the special challenges associated with a divorce involving a spouse afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder. Please call 203-557-9500 or contact us online to speak with a Connecticut attorney who can help you develop a legal strategy tailored to your situation and needs.

Contact us

Quick Contact Form