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It becomes crucial to comprehend the effects of starting the divorce process on a disabled spouse. When considering the question, “What happens if you divorce a disabled spouse?” there are some significant factors to take into account. You might discover that your court-ordered spousal maintenance exceeds the usual amount since your spouse suffers a disability.

According to Nevada family law, lifelong support must be given under severe circumstances—such as when a disabled person becomes unable to work—which entails constant obligations to pay for disability benefits and health insurance.

Understanding the divorce agreement might become less intimidating with the help of an experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney. Stay tuned as we explore the matter in more detail, giving you what you need to handle this delicate situation.

Factors to Consider in Divorcing Disabled Spouse

What Factors Should You Consider When Divorcing Your Disabled Spouse?

Divorcing a spouse with a disability has unique emotional and legal challenges. The process can be simplified by thoroughly understanding important issues like spousal support, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and your spouse’s disability status.

It’s crucial to comprehend how SSDI and Social Security benefits operate. If your spouse is disabled, they may get Social Security Administration payments. These benefits may significantly impact your divorce agreement, especially regarding alimony payments.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is vital for every divorce. However, if your spouse becomes disabled and cannot work or earn adequate income, the court may order you to pay spousal support at a higher rate than in other circumstances. The kind and degree of the handicap, including any physical or mental impairments, as well as the prospective income of the disabled spouse, may impact this.

Another significant factor is child support payments. If you are a parent, the court will consider your children’s needs, your income, and the disabled parent’s ability to pay child support. It is another situation where SSDI benefits may be applicable, as they can potentially reduce certain child support obligations.

Health insurance is another essential factor. After a divorce, you might have to keep your spouse covered by health insurance, which could affect your finances. Business interests must also be considered when dividing up assets.

Finally, the divorce agreement may change if you are aware that your disabled spouse may qualify for government support. Higher alimony or child support payments might not be necessary if certain resources or programs are available.

How do courts in Nevada determine spousal maintenance awards?

Courts in Nevada consider several factors when awarding spousal maintenance. These include the overall income of both you and your spouse, the amount of marital property allotted to each spouse, the financial resources of each spouse, and the legitimate need for money as determined throughout the marriage.

Gross income is important since it shows how different couples’ incomes differ. The courts can consider each spouse’s income and possible income from separate or marital property and SSDI benefits.

The division of marital property also influences the maintenance award. If one spouse inherits a sizable percentage of the marital property, the other spouse’s maintenance award may be reduced.

Financial resources also play a crucial influence. The court considers future earning potential in addition to current financial resources. For example, a spouse with substantial assets or business interests may not require as much maintenance despite being incapacitated.

The financial need created during the marriage is another factor the court considers. That entails considering the couple’s quality of life throughout their marriage and determining whether the spouse requesting support can sustain this level independently.

Finally, the court also considers the tax consequences of the maintenance award. The amount awarded may change if the receiving spouse reports the alimony as taxable income, and the paying spouse may deduct the payments from the federal income tax.

It can be difficult to divorce a disabled spouse, and legal counsel is frequently required. Always seek legal advice from a family law attorney to handle the proceedings appropriately and fairly.

What happens to the disabled spouse’s healthcare coverage after a divorce?

The fate of a disabled spouse’s healthcare coverage after a divorce can vary based on several factors, including the terms of the divorce settlement, the type of healthcare coverage involved, and the laws of the jurisdiction where the divorce takes place.

  • Divorce Agreement: The divorce settlement and agreements between the parties play a crucial role. Some divorces include provisions for the continuation of healthcare coverage for the disabled spouse, especially if the spouse is unable to work due to their disability. These agreements may specify the duration and responsibilities of each party.
  • Private Health Insurance: If the disabled spouse had private health insurance, the divorce settlement may address whether the coverage will continue or if the disabled spouse will need to secure alternative coverage. It could involve negotiating financial arrangements to help cover the costs of obtaining new insurance.
  • State Laws: State laws can significantly impact the post-divorce healthcare coverage for a disabled spouse. Some states may have specific regulations or guidelines regarding providing healthcare coverage, especially if the disability limits the individual’s ability to work and obtain coverage independently.

Both parties involved in a divorce must consult with legal and financial professionals, especially when a disabled spouse is concerned. They can provide guidance based on the specific circumstances and help navigate the complex landscape of healthcare coverage post-divorce. 

What If Your Spouse Is Disabled After Divorce?

It’s crucial to remember that changing alimony orders in Nevada after a divorce is difficult. Only in cases where a spouse can provide evidence of a “substantial and continuing change of circumstances” will courts consider a modification request. When a significant impairment develops following a divorce, this can be regarded as a serious change that calls for raising the amount of alimony.

Consider a couple that gets divorced after more than 20 years of marriage. In the 1970s, the wife, mostly a housewife, initially received $130 a month in alimony. She then requested an increase to $195 per month.

Years later, though, a serious vehicle accident rendered her momentarily reliant on a walker and prevented her from working for a whole year. Her situation took a sharp turn, and she began to rely on her relatives for shelter and other necessities. In light of this circumstance, she requested an increase in alimony from the court, a request that her ex-husband disputed.

The appeals court considered her financial circumstances; the year after the injury, she made a maximum of $145 monthly. Her injuries further hampered her ability to perform the manual labor required for her occupation. On the other hand, her ex-husband had led a luxurious life and operated a prosperous company for decades.

The court raised the alimony to $600 a month after considering the ex-husband’s income, the severity of the condition, and his ability to pay. This case emphasizes how alimony may be adjusted in response to materially different circumstances following a divorce. The extra help could be beneficial in covering living expenses and medical expenditures, particularly if the disabled spouse qualifies for supplemental security income.

It also emphasizes how crucial it is to consider every scenario that can arise in divorce, including disability and the possibility of required modifications in light of evolving circumstances.

Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas

How can Divorce Attorneys Help?

Navigating the nuances of a divorce when one of the spouses is disabled can be difficult. It is where divorce attorneys’ experience can be pretty helpful. Divorce attorneys can help you navigate the process and ensure all pertinent facts are considered because they have the legal expertise and experience.

A divorce attorney in Las Vegas can assist in evaluating these factors and negotiating a just and legally sound structure for spousal support, considering the type of disability, the paying spouse’s financial situation, and the disabled spouse’s capacity for employment.

If your ex-spouse needs full-time care because they are disabled, a family lawyer can assist in setting up the right kind of financial support. That can entail making arrangements for the services of a professional caregiver or negotiating payment for the spouse providing care. A family lawyer can also ensure that family members who frequently care for disabled individuals receive fair compensation for their work.

A disabled spouse might occasionally be unable to keep up a productive job or handle domestic duties. In these situations, an experienced family lawyer can help argue for permanent alimony, giving the incapacitated ex-spouse a steady income stream.

Family lawyers can help handle the difficult process of splitting assets and debts to guarantee that the incapacitated spouse’s needs are sufficiently satisfied. They can also offer advice on health insurance, social security benefits, and other relevant issues.


Divorce involving a disabled spouse presents unique challenges. It’s critical to approach this procedure with compassion, understanding, and legal knowledge. With the correct legal advice, you can guarantee a just and equitable conclusion that upholds the needs and rights of all parties concerned.

We at Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd, have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this challenging process. We are dedicated to offering thorough legal support and are aware of the particular difficulties involved in divorcing a spouse with a disability.

Please make an appointment with us right now, and allow us to assist you in securing a future that honors both your needs as well as the needs of your disabled ex-spouse.