Posted on Sep 7, 7: And Related Issues By T. What surprised me at first to learn was the absolute dearth of guidance out there for legal professionals, in terms not only of practice guides and published appellate decisions, but also within the mental health community, about how to manage these cases in a litigation setting.
Posted on Sep 7, 7: And Related Issues By T. I've represented elders who suffered from dementia, and I've represented elders whose spouse was suffering the onset of this terrible condition, and its more disease and pain related incarnations. What surprised me at first to learn was the absolute dearth of guidance out there for legal professionals, in terms not only of practice guides and published appellate decisions, but also within the mental health community, about how to manage these cases in a litigation setting.
Peterson nor myself could find one officially reported case involving dementia suffering spouses in divorce, except as to whether an action brought by a person lacking mental capacity, or who lost same in the interim, can be maintained.
This was shocking to me, but not surprising upon reflection. It is unlikely that a seriously impaired Alzheimer's spouse will survive until an appeal is decided, or much less have their interests best represented by continued litigation by their loved ones or caretakers.
In any event, given the lack of direction in the popular literature and professional treatises on this subject, I've been forced to figure out the best way for my clients on my own. Which I prefer anyway. There is a flood of these types of cases coming, as the statistics addressed below irrefutably predict.
My goal in this Blog is to provide brainstorming to legal professionals that might help them in promoting or resisting the claims that will arise for their clients in Alzheimer type cases, and to give some hope and guidance to the family member non-lawyers who will find this Blog on Google and the other search engines.
This article is therefore a work in progress, and I will keep coming back to groom and layer it until I am satisfied with it.
I will also spin off some related articles. If you find this article in September,please come back to review it in the ensuing months if the topic is important to you, or to your loved one.
Dementia and Its Impacts Upon Individuals and Couples In Divorce Many family law attorneys have witnessed the challenges faced by elderly people suffering from dementia. Often our introduction began with our aging parents, or their siblings. These persons may have been our mothers, or fathers.
As the statistics outlined below demonstrate, this disease-based extinction of self is more than an existential threat to each of us. It may be a matter of the odds. And its ravages are heartbreaking: Beyond our personal Universes, dementia has complex implications for matrimonial law.
Increasingly our legal community will be asked to consider assisting clients with dementia-related difficulties who face the double whammy of the illness onset and a divorce spawned fiscal crisis. It is, for a huge swath of the population aged 65 and beyond, the most expensive health care issue that elder people commonly face.
The number of dementia-disabled adults with cases pending in family law court will expand as the Baby Boomer cohort born between and marches on. Although these increasing rates leveled out in the statistics indisputably imply that more of such people, on either side of the aisle, will need our help.
Nonetheless, it is established that marriages that begin in later life do not appear to have the durability of those maintained over longer periods. As of more seniors were ending their marriages by divorce than through death.
It is not uncommon that these parties have separate estates of disparate value, that they enjoy low housing or other living expenses, and that even if relatively wealthy that they have lived frugally up to the point that one needs highly expensive personal care.
To the extent that men continue to control a larger slice of the wealth of families than women, the vulnerability of this gender segment of the elder population will continue. I need to comment that there seems to be a dearth of data for same-sex couples, and for gay men in particular, and I apologize for the gendered and generalized tone of this article in its present incarnation.
No disrespect or lack of sensitivity is intended. I will be back once I dig deeper to layer this out in future versions. Frankly, in the dementia settings I've encountered over my 35 plus years of practice, same-sex partners seemed to be more dedicated to their partners than opposite-sex couples when this awful disease struck, but that observation is hardly scientific or even reliable.
Dealing with cognitively impaired clients, or representing their spouses, raises questions about practice style and ethics for the attorneys on both sides of these elder divorce cases.
If we represent a dementia sufferer, how do we present their cases when our chief evidence giver can no longer access personal knowledge?
Using third party percipient witnesses i. The California Family Code and the Evidence Code make little or no specific provision for how to deal with the unusual circumstances posed by these cases. Not surprisingly given the condition and age of these litigants, few reported decisions have ruled upon these issues within the family law context.
This landscape includes a brief discussion of who it is that tends to suffer from this disability and when the onset typically begins, as well as about its progression, the types of care that are commonly available, the costs for the varietals of care, and the limits on what federal and state governments may contribute to and so mitigate the out of pocket payments for care, but not living expenses, that a spouse or the community or separate estate might generally be accessed.
Section II discusses strategies for obtaining temporary spousal support awards that are proportionate to the costs of dementia related care and associated living expenses, consistent with existing precedent, and also opposing such requests.
Section II offers legal authorities for deviating from guideline support schedules.
It contains a discussion about factors which negatively impact the length or amount of spousal support awards in temporary support cases generally, which might have out-sized consequences in elder dementia divorce, and it attempts to weave some arguments together in order to address these special circumstances for both sides in such disputes.
Larger societal questions exist over whether individuals or the State should subsidize the costs for victims of this disease, and if so for how long.TCM practitioners use a variety of techniques in an effort to promote health and treat disease.
In the United States, the most commonly used approaches include Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and tai chi. I wish the title was "Cannabis Gateway to Health" instead of marijuana which conjures up ideas of pot smokers.
This is an excellent book loaded with great information for anyone who wants to learn how cannabis can help their condition. Allow me to begin on a personal note. This is a picture of me, right around the time that my grandma was diagnosed with end-stage heart disease and sent home to die.
The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease worsen over time, although the rate at which the disease progresses varies. On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.
Ischemic stroke (see the image below) is characterized by the sudden loss of blood circulation to an area of the brain, resulting in a corresponding loss of neurologic function. This is Part 1 of a developing series addressing divorce, spousal support, and evidence issues where a spouse suffers from Alzheimer's or some form of Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.