MENTAL HEALTH 

Many individuals and their families will at some point in their lives be affected by mental health problems.

Many couples separating are affected by depression. The assistance of a counselor or psychologist can be very helpful. Please do not be offended if I raise the possibility of getting support for your emotional/psychological well-being at what is one of the most stressful times of your life.

In a separation context, a diagnosis of a mental disorder for a parent has an effect on care arrangements, as it is important that the party can parent safely, and is not being unfairly discriminated against.

Where one of the parties separating has an undiagnosed mental health issue (personality disorder or other), this can greatly inflame any separation.

A mental health disorder can be a psychiatric crisis. At that time, the assistance of mental health services and sectioning under the Mental Health Act may be necessary with a focus being on the patients right to life, safety and a the statutory requirements of compulsory treatment orders. At other times, a multi-disciplinary patient centered approach to resolving care issues may be more appropriate with a voluntary treatment.

As a specialist family lawyer experienced in mental health issues (and the sectioning process under the Mental Health Act) I will be able to advise you, helping you resolve matters through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.

INCAPACITY

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOA) (for personal care and welfare and property) are excellent where there is unexpected loss of mental capacity. However, disputes frequently arise from these. Legal advice may be necessary for family of the incapacitated family member and the attorney. 

Where there are no EPOA’s and incapacity strikes, Court applications may be necessary by family, friends or others permitted to, to help the incapacitated person manage their property or make decisions in relation to their personal care and welfare. These applications will be for Orders under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act. 

Incapacity disputes can be complex involving a great many individuals and organisations. They can frequently  involve  a number of family members and significant others, specialist medical consultants, expert opinions, hospitals, retirement villages, solicitors who certify documents, and barristers. 

This is a complex area of the law. I have particular specialty in providing advice in this area, and resolving issues via negotiation, mediation or litigation.