If your spouse is in an accident, and ends up in a coma, how long should you stay married? Comas can last for a few days, or they can last for years. More often than not, people do not wake up at all. If you also do not have power of attorney over your spouse, how long do you stay married to someone in this state? Here are some other things to consider before you move forward with a divorce from your comatose spouse.
In Sickness and in Health
You did say "in sickness and in health," and this definitely applies as "sickness." Your spouse is recovering from an awful accident that has left him/her in this state. You promised to stand by. After a few years, it may be time to let go. How do you do that? It may be somewhat tacky, but it is better than waiting for your spouse to either die or return from the coma and discover that you have had an affair. If you get along with your in-laws, consider talking to them to see if they have any suggestions or words of wisdom.
Two Years or More
Most spouses would wait two years, maybe a little more, before they would get a divorce from a comatose spouse. That does seem reasonable, but what happens if you meet someone in the meantime? Waiting may mean a lost chance at second love, but your spouse is technically still breathing. In some states, you would have to remain married for five or more years before a divorce is granted and you can be separated from this unfortunate incident.
Finalizing the Divorce
Finalizing the divorce while your spouse is still in a coma only requires the expert report of your spouse's doctor. If and when the doctor verifies that your spouse is not likely to wake up, or there is only minimal brain activity, the divorce may be granted. Since a coma is technically "brain-death," or "brain-dead," judges in many states are willing and able to grant a divorce within sixty days of filing.
When a Spouse Comes out of the Coma
In the event that your spouse wakes up out of the coma a decade or more later, and you have moved on, you may be contacted to come back and talk with him/her. You may be the last person he/she remembers, and why he/she has asked for you. In this case, you may have to contribute your time for his/her recovery, but you are under no obligation to remarry after you were divorced.
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