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How to Divorce Someone With Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease

 Posted on October 18, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerApproximately three percent of individuals aged 70-74 years old suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, and other illnesses that cause cognitive decline. For adults aged 85-89 years old, the prevalence of dementia is approximately 22 percent. However, the disease can strike people in their 50s and 60s in rare cases as well. Anyone who knows someone with dementia knows the toll it takes on both the sufferer and the sufferer's family.

Divorcing someone with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease can be extremely complicated both legally and emotionally. The cognitive decline can make it difficult for the person with dementia or Alzheimer's to understand what is happening, which can lead to anxiety and confusion. Comprehension issues can also raise legal questions about the dementia sufferer's ability to make decisions during the divorce process. If you are considering divorcing someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, working with an experienced divorce lawyer is imperative.

Proceed with Caution When Divorcing Someone with Dementia

There are a few key things to keep in mind if you are divorcing someone with dementia or Alzheimer's. First, it is important to understand that a person with cognitive decline may not be able to fully understand what is happening. This means that they may not be able to make decisions about the divorce proceedings, including decisions about property division and spousal support. If the illness is in the initial stages, a spouse may be cognizant, able to speak for themselves, and capable of advocating for their own best interests. However, if the disease has progressed significantly, the spouse may not be able to make sound decisions during divorce.

In many situations like this, the court will appoint a guardian to represent the best interests of the person with dementia or Alzheimer's. Many married couples have estate plans that name powers of attorney for financial and healthcare matters. However, a spouse seeking a divorce cannot act as the other spouse's power of attorney or guardian. This would be a conflict of interest.

If your spouse has dementia and you want to get divorced, the importance of dependable legal counsel cannot be overstated. An experienced divorce lawyer will understand how to navigate the process while protecting your best interests.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Goostree Law Group has extensive experience helping clients over age 50 through divorce. Our knowledgeable Wheaton divorce attorneys will explain all of your rights and options and guide you through the process. To schedule a free consultation, call Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group.



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