Florida man not allowed to seek divorce from wife

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, July 13, 2015.

Divorce is rampant in the United States, and often focuses on who will get to raise the children, live in the home, and keep the money. In one recent case, however, the focus has been on whether or not the husband is competent enough to divorce his wife. A Palm Beach County judge has now decided that he is not.

The basis for the decision is that the man has dementia. The disorder affects the man’s ability to rationally process information, as evidenced by his claims in court that the current year is 2017 and that his 15 year marriage began in 2012.

The court ruled that there was not credible or competent evidence on which to base a conclusion about the marriage being irretrievably broken. The man’s attorney, however, says that he may appeal the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal. The attorney also hopes that a previous judgment about the couple’s premarital contract will be upheld.

That contract would get the wife approximately $7 million. She could leave that to her children from a previous marriage. She could also get income from a $5 million trust, as well as the use of property in New York City and Palm Beach. The trust would go to her current husband’s death when she died. If the contract’s standing was affected by court decisions, the wife would get substantially less.

It is uncertain whether or not the couple will reconcile now that their divorce has been precluded for the time being. Regardless, the case can serve as a strong warning to others about making sure that inheritance and premarital contract issues are sorted out when the individuals involved retain the capability to address them.

Source: KRMG, “Judge rules Florida man with dementia not competent to seek divorce,” Jane Musgrave, Palm Beach Post, July 06, 2015