Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeCan You Divorce Your Husband If He Has Dementia

Can You Divorce Your Husband If He Has Dementia

When Guideline Support Is Not Gospel And Never Enough

Does your loved one with dementia resent you? Try this!

Here is a fact pattern for this thought experiment that I will be coming back to :

H and W marry when H is 83, and W is 70, in 2012. Both are retired. H was a successful professional before marriage, and is a widower. He has an estate worth $3.4 million, comprised of $2.9 million nontaxable municipal bonds generating a monthly income of $8k/month, $2.3k/month in SS income, other cash resources, and including a free and clear home worth $500k. W likewise is a widow. Following the DOM, H convinces W to sell her home in Sun City, and to move in with him and provide the companionate love that they both desire. He pays all their expenses. Upon the sale of her home she nets $250k. She also has IRA assets of $300k, which she is required to liquidate in small tranches each year at a rate of about $1,200/month. W receives SS of about $900/month. There is almost zero CP, given that neither has time, skill or efforts that might contribute to its creation perFamily Code section 760. While all of Ws needs are met by H during their marriage, the parties are relatively frugal. Husband doesn’t like to fly, or to take vacations.

They are married for almost 6 years. W shows symptoms of dementia in early 2016, and develops ambulatory problems. She begins to need outside caretakers, that H pays with Ws money, which he manages as her memory and Parkinsons progress. She becomes more than H can handle on his own. I guess that is not unreasonable, except for the “except death do us part” stuff.

Mental Capacity And The Mental Capacity Act

Mental capacity means being able to understand, remember and use information so you can make decisions about your life.

You may find you’re perfectly able to make decisions over what to buy from the supermarket or what to wear, but have trouble with understanding more complex financial issues.

Another person can’t decide you lack mental capacity because they think you have made a bad or strange decision.

Only a healthcare or another qualified professional can decide if mental capacity is lacking.

Capacity To Make Decisions

How you approach divorcing or separating will rest on your partners capacity to make decisions. Determining whether or not a person has capacity to make decisions varies, depending on what a person is seeking to do. For example, the capacity to get married or get divorced will be lower than the capacity needed to give instructions about a settlement of complex financial proceedings. If there is concern about whether someone has capacity, it is very important to take advice before any steps are taken. If it subsequently transpires that the person who made decisions lacks capacity, those steps can be set aside. If it is decided that someone does lack capacity to divorce or reach a financial settlement, an application can be made to the Court for a litigation friend to be appointed for that person.

Also Check: Does Neil Diamond Have Alzheimer’s

How Will Mental Health Issues Affect Divorce Orders

Either spouse’s mental health issues can impact everything from property division to child custody. Different states have different laws and certain factors a judge should consider when issuing support awards or determining physical custody arrangements, but generally mental illness plays the biggest role in support and custody rulings.

To Ease The Pain: Songs Games Camaraderie

An Inside Take on Dementia Behaviors

I was born at a very early age, says Perry, a retired Quebec Superior Court judge, and those who hear him chuckle, even though he tells the same joke every time.

Another lawyer. Another crook around the table, says Saul Handelman , a former lawyer, with a nudge and a wink.

I was born in Boston, says Audrey Shirmer , a photographer, adding that she worked for 17 years at what used to be the Saidye Bronfman Centre.

Oh, youre a big-city girl, replies Naomi, a retired school teacher. Imwhat do you call it when you go to someones house?

Don’t Miss: Neurotransmitter Alzheimers

Can You Divorce Someone With Alzheimers

Although a spouse with dementia does not intentionally act in a mean or negative way, this can still cause a marriage to deteriorate over time. Therefore, the spouse of an Alzheimers patient can legally file for divorce without needing to demonstrate a reason for doing so.29 2019 .

Moral And Legal Considerations During Divorce

Today, 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Alzheimers is a degenerative brain disease that can lead to memory loss and behavioral changes. An affected spouse who was normally calm and loving can become violent and angry, due to chemical changes in the brain.

Although a spouse with dementia does not intentionally act in a mean or negative way, this can still cause a marriage to deteriorate over time. This is especially true if the healthy spouse fears for their safety when the sick spouse acts out. The healthy partner may also begin to feel more like a caregiver than a spouse. The stress of having to care for a sick partner can take its toll after an extended period of time, and this can ultimately lead to mental or physical issues for the healthy spouse as well.

A spouse may feel guilty for not staying in their marriage in sickness and in health, but sometimes the required care for a spouse with Alzheimer’s is beyond a persons capabilities. In some cases, a spouse with dementia may require specialized care or assistance by trained medical personnel, or they may need to begin residing in an assisted living facility. In these circumstances, the other spouse may feel that it is best to legally end the marriage so they can take care of their own needs.

Also Check: Alzheimer’s Awareness Color

What Happens If You Don’t Make An Lpa

If you don’t make an LPA and later become unable to make decisions yourself, nobody will legally be able to make decisions for you.

This can make things difficult for your family as they won’t be able to pay bills or make decisions about your care.

When this happens, someone may need to apply to the Court of Protection to become a deputy. This gives similar powers to that of an attorney. But it’s a time-consuming and expensive process.

How Does Divorce Affect You Mentally

Caring for a wife with dementia who keeps wandering away: Ross’ story

Divorce and mental health

For some people, you might have expected to be with your partner for the rest of your life so when you face a divorce, you could feel overwhelming anxiety, depression, rage, and hopelessness. If your spouse cheated on you, you might suffer from feelings of worthlessness, anger, and confusion.

You May Like: Bobby Knight Dementia

How Do You Care For A Parent With Dementia At Home

Just know that it can be hard and you may eventually need to bring in in-home care or move your husband or loved one to a nursing home.

If you raised children, depending on how progressive the dementia has gotten, you may find many of the same techniques used to help kids will help your loved one.

But to start with, when caring for a husband or other loved one with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia at home, follow these guidelines and tips:

  • Set a routine they can become familiar with
  • Go places and do things that will be familiar
  • Use simple language and clear messages
  • Know they may sometimes struggle to get their words out
  • Be patient
  • Dont let them see you stressed, frustrated, or angry
  • Ask simple questions
  • Have more complicated tasks broken down into baby steps

Depending on how far gone the dementia has gotten you may also need to consider adult diapers if bladder or bowel control has gotten inconsistent. Plastic sheets under the cloth sheets are a must too to protect the mattress.

What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia

There are a few different ways doctors measure the progression of symptoms for Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.

The most common measurement tool is referred to as the GDS, which stands for the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia.

It is also sometimes called the Reisberg Scale.

That tool refers to 7 different stages of dementia, which are as follows:

Read Also: Dementia Color Ribbon

What Is The Main Cause Of Vascular Dementia

Causes of vascular dementia Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, which damages and eventually kills brain cells. This can happen as a result of: narrowing and blockage of the small blood vessels inside the brain. a single stroke, where the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off.

Florida Man With Dementia Files For Divorce

6 Signs Your Husband or Boyfriend Is Not Gay

An incredibly unique and complex divorce case is currently working its way through the courts in Florida. A husband suffering from dementia, with the support of his three adult children, is trying to file for divorce from his second wife. The case brings up many interesting issues in Florida divorce law, such as mental capacity and a waiting period that comes with certain divorce cases.

Facts at Issue

In the case of Zelman v. Zelman, Martin and Lois Zelman dated for seven years before marrying in 2000. Now 87 and 80 years old, respectively, Mr. Zelman is suffering from dementia. His three adult children from a prior marriage have encouraged him to file for divorce from Lois, his second wife. At stake is nearly $10 million that the children could inherit if the divorce is completed before their father dies.

Mrs. Zelman is fighting the divorce, some say for money and others say for love. She stands to inherit the $10 million and several pieces of property that she was promised as part of the prenuptial agreement if Mr. Zelman passes away before her. Both sides of the case claim that they are trying to protect Mr. Zelman and are demonizing each other in the media.

Winding the Case Through Court

Florida Divorce Law

Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney

Also Check: Alzheimer’s Disease Ribbon Color

Can You Divorce Someone Who Is Mentally Incompetent

Mental illness of a person itself is not a ground for divorce according to law, if a person has mental disorder of a kind that the spouse cannot be reasonably be expected to live with them, then divorce may be granted. The mental disorder has to be of such extent that the partner cannot live with him/her.10-Jul-2019

  • Divorce cases involving a spouse who has been declare mentally incompetent can be difficult for both parties. Mental cognizance and mental capacity are required in giving consent in both marriage and divorce. Diagnosing a mental illness can help the divorce case of someone who has been declared mentally incompetent by the court

Find Hobbies And Interests That You Share

Did you and your husband share an interest or a hobby before their dementia or Alzheimers diagnosis?

Find out if they would still like to do that with you.

If they liked cooking, then ask them to help you make a meal. You can also go for walks or do some gardening if that is what they prefer.

Other hobbies you two could indulge in include playing board games, caring for pets, and even having their favorite friends over.

Experts recommend caregivers can connect with your spouse through art.

Thus taking care of a husband with dementia doesnt have to mean the end of doing everything you loved to do together.

Loving Husbands Detailed Morning Routine for Wife with Dementia Will Make You Cry


You May Like: Karen Vieth Edgar Knight

Atemporary Spousal Support The Launching Point

California has long recognized two types of spousal support and our judges and justices have applied slightly different standards and rules about how to determine each:“Temporary” or “pendente lite” spousal support and“permanent” or “judgment” spousal support. Temporary spousal support is determined one way, and judgment spousal support another. Temporary spousal support is essentially what a court may order until the community property has all been divided equally according to marital balance sheet, in the form of a Judgment at the end of the case. Once that occurs, we enter the zone of “judgment” spousal support. Dementia cases may be treated differently depending upon whether the issue is temporary or judgment spousal support. I will develop the judgment spousal support themes as this series evolves – for now I am mostly concerned with analyzing pendente lite support issues and arguments.

Predictability is imperative to the efficient and fair administration of justice, not only so that people are treated uniformly throughout the State, but in order for lawyers – as deal-makers – to know what to expect and how to set their client’s expectations. And family law litigation was so much cheaper then than it has become today. Having an idea what amount in spousal support is likely to be ordered in any given case is critical to lowering risks for clients as well as their fees, at least for responsible and competent family law attorneys.

Legal Financial And Health Care Planning Documents

(43M) Husband of 20 years wants a divorce after admitting he lied about loving me (40F)

Families beginning the legal planning process should discuss their approach, what they want to happen, and which legal documents theyll need. Depending on the family situation and the applicable state laws, a lawyer may introduce a variety of documents to assist in this process, including documents that communicate:

  • Health care wishes of someone who can no longer make health care decisions.
  • Financial management and estate plan wishes of someone who can no longer make financial decisions.

Learn how to get your affairs in order.

Also Check: What Is The Color For Dementia Awareness

How Do I Divorce My Mentally Ill Spouse

Recognize the process of divorcing a mentally ill spouse will take time. Consider how to help your spouse to be self-sufficient. Create a parenting plan for your children that keeps your spouse involved in a way that is safe and feasible. Dont hold your spouses condition against him/her to penalize him/her.

Are Alzheimers And Dementia The Same Thing

Alzheimers is a form of dementia, but there are other forms as well. Thus, while related, they are not the same.

Dementia the umbrella under which all forms of memory loss get lumped under. The term dementia ultimately just describes the symptoms that happen with the different types of memory loss, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Ability to perform daily tasks
  • Communication skills loss
  • Confusion and disorientation

Alzheimers is, by far, the most common form of dementia. Unlike some forms of dementia, Alzheimers is a progressive disease, meaning the symptoms get worse over time.

Despite its prevalence among the older generations, younger people can develop any form of dementia, including Alzheimers, although it certainly doesnt happen to everyone.

Doctors believe that 60% to 80% of people with dementia are suffering from Alzheimers.

Thus, while they have a lot of similarities, there are some brain conditions that create the symptoms of dementia that are not tied to Alzheimers.

Ove 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimers.

Symptoms of someone with Alzheimers can be:

  • Memory loss

Don’t Miss: Bob Knight Health Condition

Lasting Power Of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose a person you trust to act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to make your own decisions.

This person is referred to as your attorney and must be over 18 years old.

You may think that if you’re married or in a civil partnership, your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your bank accounts and pensions, or make decisions about your care if you’re no longer able to.

But this isn’t true. Without an LPA, your spouse wouldn’t be able to act on your behalf.

An LPA can only be used after it’s been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian .

There are 2 types of LPA covering:

  • property and financial affairs
  • health and welfare

You can choose to do both LPAs at the same time, or just one. You can choose the same person to be your attorney for both. Or you can have different attorneys.

More About Quebec’s Eldercare Challenge

Story from subscribers: My husband caught me cheating on ...

Troubling signs appeared about 10 years ago, when the couple went on vacation using tickets booked online. At the airport, Saul became agitated. He fretted that electronic tickets werent real tickets, and theyd never get on the plane. When the flight was delayed, he became even more anxious. Handelman says: My husband was always sure of himself, capable and confident. From that time on, I noticed how anxious and fearful he was of any change.

He stuck to the same route to and from his office, complained of dizzy spells and at times his walk was unsteady. After convincing her family doctor that there was something terribly wrong, she got a referral to a geriatrician, who specializes in the health needs of aging individuals.

Read Also: What Causes Senile Dementia

How To Claim Abandonment

Before attempting to claim abandonment, youll need to make sure your state allows abandonment as a ground for divorce. Some states are strictly no-fault in nature, and even if abandonment exists, you will not be able to use it as a legal tool.

When using abandonment as a ground for divorce, youll need to provide proof to the court that the abandonment actually took place. As the plaintiff, youll need to show that the defendant left and has not met their financial obligations for the specified period required in your state. You will also need to prove that you were not the reason why the abandoning spouse left, such as due to abuse or adultery.

Abandonment is not the same as a woman fleeing domestic violence to protect herself or her children. It is also not the same as a man announcing his intentions to divorce and then moving out.

Keep in mind that you could also be weakening your case by walking out on a marriage when children are involved. Your spouse can demonstrate that you are not a fit parent because you walked out on the family for an extended period.

In short, you need to think through your reasons for abandoning your marriage. Similarly, if you have been abandoned, you need to determine the best way to end your marriage while protecting yourself to the highest degree possible.

Looking for more information on divorce? Check out some of our other popular articles.


Most Popular