About 27 million women in the United States have a disability or a major illness, such as breast cancer.  It is very difficult to deal with a serious medical condition. It is even more difficult to deal with a serious medical condition during a divorce. You may find yourself concentrating on the divorce and letting your health slide, or you may find yourself postponing or ignoring the divorce in order to care for your health. Can you find a balance?

Put your health first, but don’t give up your rights. Here are some things that our San Francisco divorce attorneys think you should know:

  • California spousal support: If you were recently diagnosed, you may feel that you are fully capable of working. Ask your doctor about your health outlook in a few months and in a few years. Will you have to give up working because of health complications? If so, seek a minimal alimony award that can be modified in the future. 
  • Equitable distribution of assets: The court must consider the economic circumstances of each spouse when distributing marital assets.  If you have medical needs or high medical bills, you may be entitled to a larger share of the assets.
  • Health Insurance: Are you currently covered by your spouse's health insurance plan? You could lose this coverage after the divorce. It may be expensive to find new coverage with a preexisting condition. You may be able to include on-going health coverage as part of your California divorce agreement. If you can’t remain on the policy because of the divorce, you may be able to include payment for health coverage in your spousal support agreement.

California courts require a spouse seeking support to make an effort to become self-supporting. If your disability prevents you from working, you may qualify for permanent spousal support. However, the courts may request an independent medical evaluation to determine your vocational limitations.

Need help? Your San Francisco divorce lawyer can negotiate with your spouse while you focus on your medical needs. The women-only divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan will put you first. Call us at 415-341-1144.

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