Divorce After A Traumatic Brain Injury
It is often reported that there is a high incidence of divorce for couples where one party has sustained a brain injury. There are no reliable statistics for the divorce rate for such couples, but in our experience dealing with a divorce on behalf of a couple where one person has sustained a brain injury can often be very different from the other cases that we deal with.
Very often, until the event that resulted in the brain injury occurred the couple had been happy and a divorce was not contemplated. The reasons for the separation are usually therefore different to other couples. For example, the couple may find it difficult to adjust to the impact that the injury has caused, they may feel under additional financial pressure if one person is unable to work, or one person may have had to take on additional responsibilities around the home.
As well as the reasons for the divorce the approach to the financial settlement must also be approached differently. Consideration needs to be given as to how to balance the needs of the person with the brain injury (such as future care and treatment costs) against those of the other party, particularly where there has been a personal injury or clinical negligence award.
Of course, our work on family matters for individuals with a brain injury are not limited to divorce and the financial settlement arising from the separation.
A person that has received a clinical negligence or personal injury award should consider entering into a pre-nuptial agreement prior to marriage in order to protect that award, so that it is available to meet their future needs.
It may also be that special considerations need to be put in place in order for the person with a brain injury to be able to spend time with their children post-separation from their partner, and we regularly assist parties to set up those arrangements.
For more information and to find out how we can help you, please contact a member of our Family Team on 01279 755777.