In Missouri, can a man divorce a woman who has been diagnosed with Alziemer's disease?

Asked over 1 year ago - Joplin, MO

This couple has been married for 60 years and the wife has Alzeimer's. Is she legally competent to do this?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Gerald W. Linnenbringer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . One's competency, in a legal sense, will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The court may rely on a doctor's evaluation and the testimony of the individual themselves, if possible, to make this determination.

  2. Joshua T. Mathews

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Mr. Coulter and Mr. Linnenbringer already provided good information. If the question, however, is whether or not the Alzheimer's would legally prevent the divorce, the answer is; "probably not." In Missouri a divorce may be granted if the marriage is "irretrievably broken and has no reasonable likelihood of being preserved." Often, divorces are granted on a "default" basis, where one party isn't even in attendance. The Court will certainly take additional precautions in a case like this, because of the specific issues. But, there is no blanket prohibition on a divorce taking place.

    This advice is based upon limited and hypothetical circumstances. For an answer that is specific to your... more
  3. C. Curran Coulter

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Yes, they can get divorced.

    As Mr. Linnenbringer said, "One's competency, in a legal sense, will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The court may rely on a doctor's evaluation and the testimony of the individual themselves, if possible, to make this determination." Also worth noting, a Guardian ad Litem may be appointed to advocate for the person's best interest if a person is deemed unable to represent themselves (ie. they are a child or incompetent).

    In more complicated situations, such as this, both parties would benefit from seeking independent counsel that would be able to explain how to proceed in this situation.

Related Topics

Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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