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Judge will decide if man with dementia can divorce

In works of fiction, relationships between stepparents and their stepchildren are often portrayed as filled with misunderstandings and stress. While this is often an exaggeration and many members of blended families in Mississippi actually have a wonderful relationship with one another, one out-of-state family is experiencing a great deal of strife. In fact, a judge must soon determine whether a man with dementia will be able to divorce his wife after a legal dispute initiated by the man's adult children.

The dispute began in 2014. The man's adult son was reportedly concerned about the treatment his father, who has dementia, was receiving at the hands of his stepmother. He filed a petition with the court, requesting the court to declare his father incompetent, and also arguing that his stepmother was ignoring the needs of his father.

While friends of the man and his wife testified that the two were a loving couple, caregivers testified that the man was being mistreated. In fact, the man's son claims that his father frequently complained that he was miserable as a result of the treatment he received from his wife. The judge ultimately ruled against the wife, giving her one day to leave the condominium the couple shared together.

The man has since filed for a divorce. His wife claims that the children are motivated by money while the children make the same claims. As part of the man's prenuptial agreement, the woman will have access to approximately $10 million in assets if the marriage does not end in divorce. If a divorce is granted, she will not be allowed to keep these assets. In order for the divorce to proceed, a judge must to determine whether the man is a competent witness.

While few divorce cases in Mississippi are as complicated as this one, it is always helpful to have an experienced attorney while going through the proceedings. Such a person can be a voice of reason, providing valuable advice and helping clients make informed decisions regarding their case. While the end of a marriage can be a stressful time, having the right help can ease the process and help achieve an agreeable resolution.

Source:, "Can Florida man with dementia file for divorce?", Jane Musgrave, May 24, 2015

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