Divorcing someone with mental illness?
In recent years, I have met many clients who are divorcing someone with mental illness.
Case of Dalya Saeed
Thankfully, I have not encountered a case like Dalya Saeed’s.
It was reported that Dalya Saeed, 31, stabbed her ex-husband, Bilal Miah, 31, and tried to disembowel him minutes after having sex. She had done so using a carving knife.
Miah suffered 30 wounds. He spent 10 days in hospital and recovered fully after going through 2 operations.
According to Miah, the pair had argued about the custody of their child on the fateful day. Somehow, they ended up in bed. After their 4-hour romp, Saeed allegedly stabbed Miah twice in his belly. Milah assumed that the knife had come from under the bed or her dressing gown.
Miah’s intestines fell out and Saeed grabbed hold of them, trying to pull them off Miah. One of Miah’s intestines broke and Saeed threw it onto the floor. Miah managed to put the rest of his intestines back in his belly.
Miah tried to flee but was chased by Saeed onto the street where he was attacked with a bat and cleaver. Neighbours later discovered Miah when they heard his screams and informed the police.
See: Abe Hawken, “‘My intestines were out… and she was grabbing hold of them’: Man tells court how his ex-wife ‘tried to disembowel him with a carving knife after they had four-hour sex session”, Mailonline, 7 February 2017
Mental illness could damage a relationship. It is not easy living with someone with mental illness.
Over the years, I have seen many clients who went about divorcing someone with mental illness. The sole ground for divorce in Singapore is irretrievable breakdown of marriage. Often, clients who are bent on divorcing someone with mental illness will use the reason of unreasonable behaviour of their spouse.
Care and control of children may be affected by the mental illness of one spouse. The welfare of children is of paramount importance to the Family Justice Courts. The Court may consider if the parent having mental illness is capable of taking care of the child.
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