How Does Insanity Work as Grouds for a Divorce?

How Does Insanity Work as Grouds for a Divorce?

One of the 12 grounds for divorce in Oklahoma is insanity, but not everyone knows exactly what this means. Insanity has a long legal history of being defined in different ways with difficulties in court arising as a result. Knowing the difference between the legal definition and other definitions of insanity is important when you want to file a divorce for reasons of insanity. There are several things you will need to prove. If you have questions, then feel free to speak with an Oklahoma Divorce Attorney. 

How Does the Law Define Insanity?

Insanity has had various legal definitions over the past several decades. What complicates matters is the way the definitions of insanity may be used for criminal and divorce trials, two completely different areas. This can make determining whether insanity is a reasonable grounds for divorce difficult when it comes to specific situations.

For example, insanity in criminal cases must be severe, but certain things like an inadequate or immature personality do not count as insanity. Antisocial tendencies are also not considered insanity. Insanity does not apply for criminal cases where the person’s mental state was caused by the use of alcohol or drugs, but the abuse of nearly any substance can be used as a grounds for divorce. 

In other words, simply having depression or anxiety may not be enough to qualify for grounds for divorce. Other specific factors need to be met first. 

Insanity Requirements for a Divorce

How Does Insanity Work as Grouds for a Divorce?Oklahoma lists several necessary factors for the insanity grounds for divorce. First, the insanity or mental condition must have lasted at least five years. Your spouse must have either been an inmate in:

  • A state institution in Oklahoma
  • A state institution outside Oklahoma
  • Or in a private sanitarium 

Insanity must have been officially diagnosed by a professional with adequate training and competence in the area of mental disorders. For example, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, and licensed clinical psychologists. This diagnosis must also include poor prognosis. In other words, there is only a small possibility of your spouse recovering from their mental illness. The diagnosis and examination of your spouse for insanity itself has to be done by at least three physicians:

  • Superintendent of a hospital or sanitarium
  • Two physicians that are chosen by family court 

This means you will need medical and possibly therapy or psychiatric records for evidence of your claim. These records must indicate that your spouse has a crippling mental disorder that significantly interferes with their ability to function or raise children if children are involved. Witnesses can also strengthen your claim. 

Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma

Proving grounds of insanity for divorce can be difficult with all the complex legal factors that become intertwined. Consider hiring an Oklahoma Family Lawyer if you find yourself struggling with this process. A lawyer can help you collect evidence, define insanity, and build up strong arguments in your defense. You can call the Putnam Law Office today at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.

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