Diminished Capacity

My father in law is going through a divorce. He began the precedings with a lawyer but mid way through ran out of money. Not being represented, there was a partial judgement issued. Since then he has been evaluated for a second time with moderate dementia. He has limited income and now has diminished capacity to make decisions. Can the initial judgement be revisited in light of the new diagnosis and are there options for representation with limited income?

Assuming it has been more than 10 days from the entry of the original order, the initial judgment cannot be revisited unless a party can prove mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud, etc. Such a motion for relief from judgment must be filed within one year.

A party can file a motion for relief from a judgment/order for any other reason justifying the relief and there is no time limit for a motion for this reason. Your father in-law would need to prove that he was medically suffering from dementia at the time of the hearing and this impacted or changed the result.

You can get access to a library of legal forms and communicate with an attorney through our Rosen Online Service. This service only costs $199/month, and could be a great resource for your father in-law to handle his divorce without spending thousands of dollars on an attorney.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

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