Heymann & Fletcher

Man unable to divorce his wife due to mental issues

Few things are more important to New Jersey residents than individual liberties. The ability to dictate the course of one's life is often taken for granted until such time as those rights are threatened. An example is found in the case of a man who was recently denied the right to divorce his wife. That decision was made based on a previous ruling that deemed the man mentally incompetent. 

In 2008, the man's wife asked a court to find her husband incompetent based on his decision to send money to an individual who contacted him online. The individual claimed to be a Nigerian prince, which may be the best-known internet scam of recent years. Unfortunately, the husband promptly sent thousands of dollars to the scammers. In court, the wife prevailed, and her husband was deemed mentally incompetent. She was named as his legal guardian. 

In 2013, the man filed for divorce. However, when the matter went to court, the court found that he was unable to proceed. In the couple's state of residence, individuals who are deemed mentally incompetent are unable to file legal claims. That means that unless his legal guardian files the divorce on his behalf, the man will be forced to remain married. As his wife is his guardian and does not want a divorce, it seems unlikely that the marriage will end in that manner. 

This case is more complex than many divorce issues facing spouses in New Jersey and elsewhere. At issue are basic matters of individual rights, as well as the state's obligation to look after those who are incapable of looking after their own interests. What readers can be sure of is that the living arrangement between this husband and wife must surely be strained, to say the least. 

Source: tampabay.com, "Court says man can't seek divorce without wife's permission", Adam Beam, Dec. 16, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location:

Heymann & Fletcher
1201 Sussex Turnpike
Randolph, NJ 07869

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029
Randolph Law Office Map

Heymann & Fletcher
Mailing Address
PO Box 518
Mount Freedom, NJ 07970

Toll Free: 800-481-8549
Phone: 862-781-0029