Greetings. I cannot even imagine the difficulties you have had during this 5 year marriage and the information you provided must be just the tip of the iceberg. Many of my clients dated and married someone with mental illness and never even knew about the illness until after the marriage … so you are not alone.
Next, I think that your next question to me should be “how do I safeguard my children and separate from this destructive person.” So, let me answer that one and then I will deal with the remainder of your questions. First, whether or not she has mental health issues, she is still an adult and responsible for taking her medication. The next time she moves out or stays gone, I would have an attorney send her a domestic criminal trespass letter. Also, even though it is costly, enroll your children in daycare. Finally, if you believe she is drinking excessively and plans to drive the children, file a domestic violence action with the children as Plaintiffs and you as the guardian ad litem. Their safety is paramount, as I am sure you believe.
Now, your questions. 1. The court’s treat mental illness as any other disease, but if she refuses to get treatment or fails to maintain the treatment, that puts her at a significant disadvantage. 2. No, you cannot record conversations that you are not a party to. Stop this behavior, as it is illegal. You must be a member to the entire conversation to tape it. 3. This is the least of your concerns in my opinion, but you could file an alienation of affection lawsuit against any third party that has caused your relationship to fail. It sounds to me though that the relationship is failing on its own, so I doubt you would win, as the third party has to alienate the love of the spouses.
I agree with your last statement. You have to be sure that you and your children are protected and then, and only then, you may be able to offer some assistance to her and her illness from a distance. Best of luck.
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.