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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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A family member is being sued and has already returned

Customer Question

A family member is being sued for divorce and has already returned the first stage of the paperwork stating that he wishes to represent himself. He has only recently been released from hospital following an ongoing hypermanic event and is still on strong medication and under the care of the Mental Health Team. He is clearly in no fit mental state to make these decisions, let alone represent himself in court.
My question is, where do I stand if I wish to inform the court handling his case of his current mental state?
Many thanks for your kind attention
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Have you asked the Mental Health Team if they feel he has sufficient capacity to deal with this?
Are there financial issue sto be resolved?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I'm waiting for the answer to your first question at the moment.

The divorce would involve the sale of his family home and support of two children under 18.

Get back to you with more information as soon as I can.

Many thanks, Fred.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is fine
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I have now spoken to his GP and his Mental Health Team Care Worker and both say that he is not in a fit state to be making these decisions at the moment.

I'm very concerned that if the divorce proceedings are allowed to go ahead, without him having proper legal advice, things could be decided very unfairly against him. If he doesn't contact the court about his mental health issues, should I?

Many thanks again, Fred.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Will he listen to you - and woudl you be willing to apply to be his Deputy and deal with matters for him?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He's not really in a fit state to talk any advice on board at the moment I'm afraid. For example, his Care Worker told him not to do anything with his letter from the court until she'd seen him. Instead of waiting (he had seven days to respond), he filled it out and drove to the court to hand it in personally!

Several of us would gladly act for him (I'm guessing that's what you mean by Deputy), but I don't think he really appreciates what's happening to him.

I can ask again if he'll let one of us act for him.

Many thanks, Fred.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I've just spoken to him again and he says that he's received a letter today concerning mediation. I've advised him to seek legal advice before attending but I'm unsure that he will.

Thanks again, Fred.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
Doe she have sufficient mental capacity to sign a Power of Attorney?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure - what would that involve please?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
His Mental Health team will have to confirm that he is capable of appointing you 9or someone else) to represent his interests
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks for that.

So, if he refuses all help/advice is that the step I should take before or after informing the court of his situation please?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If he refuses help and he has sufficient mental capacity to sign a Power of Attorney then it is likely that he will refuse to do that as well.
In that situation all you can do is write to the court and quote the case number ***** inform them that he is considered NOT to have capacity to deal with the matter.
However if he does NIT have sufficient capacity to sign a Power of Attorney then some one shoudl arrange to be appointed as his Deputy - details here
https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy/overview
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks for your help Clare - that's clear to us.

Very best wishes, Fred.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare