What a postnup could mean for a bipolar spouse

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Collaborative Divorce, Family Law |

2020 has brought its fair share of hardships. You may have faced job loss or other financial strains. Limited opportunities for social interaction outside of the home may have put stress on your relationship with your spouse. You may have lost a loved one to coronavirus. The uncertainty of your family’s future may be causing sleeplessness.

Such stressors can be difficult for anyone to cope with. But for a sufferer of bipolar disorder, these can also be triggers.

What does bipolar disorder look like?

When someone suffers a bipolar episode, their mood shifts dramatically between mania and depression. In the depressed state, the individual may suffer extreme fatigue and lose interest in the things that previously brought them joy. It may be nearly impossible for them to go to work, or care for themselves or others in their family.

In the manic state, a bipolar sufferer will feel energetic and invincible. They will often act impulsively. Frequently, people in this state will engage in spending sprees – without thinking through the long-term consequences.

Impact on the family

If you’re married to someone with bipolar disorder, you may feel worried about your spouse’s rash or risky behaviors – which could put your family at risk. One impulsive shopping spree could suddenly jeopardize your family finances – or even put you in debt.

How a postnup can help

A postnuptial agreement (postnup) can give you peace of mind – and help you and your spouse to navigate your marriage more confidently together. A postnup is a legal agreement that you and your spouse settle on together. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement, only it is created after you are already married. It can cover a wide range of issues and circumstances.

For a spouse with a history of reckless spending, you may want to lay out ways to protect your family finances in the agreement. This may include closing any joint bank or credit card accounts. It could also release you from any debt your spouse may incur. You may even want to set up restrictions on your spouse’s spending – so that a manic episode doesn’t end up harming their credit and creating other challenges for them down the road.

Contrary to popular belief, a postnuptial (or prenuptial) agreement is not a blueprint for divorce. It can also serve as a tool to facilitate difficult conversations with your partner about sensitive issues – and help you come to an agreement that strengthens your relationship.

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