Divorcing a Spouse Who Has Alzheimer’s Disease

alzheimers.jpgA few weeks ago, Evangelical host of the 700 Club Pat Robertson made waves when he suggested that Alzheimer’s is a type of death and it would therefore be permissible to divorce someone suffering the disease. Many people in both medical and religious groups took offense to Mr. Robertson’s statement, but what about the legal aspects? Would the courts even grant such a divorce?

In Florida, there are two general grounds for divorce: the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and mental incapacity. A divorce based on mental incapacity would likely not be granted by claiming mental incapacity, as that requires the other spouse to have been adjudged incapacitated for the past three years.

The only available option seems to be asking the court for a divorce based on the marriage being “irretrievably broken” — but since the other spouse is incapacitated, he or she would likely require a guardian. A judge might not be lenient in granting a divorce in such a situation, but it appears to be possible. It is certainly an interesting issue. If you or someone you know has been served with divorce, make sure you have a Florida Family Law Attorney helping you get through this difficult situation.

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