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Mental capacity issue

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  • Mental capacity issue

    I am going through a highly costly and acrimonious divorce to the point I had to dispense with my solicitor early on due to sky rocketing costs and have for some time have been acting as litigant in person, this alongside lots of other challenging life issues including treatment for Cancer, disputes with a neighbour who is friends with my ex who since last year has undertaken a campaign of various attacks on myself which the Police seem reluctant to deal with which has left me feeling very vulnerable and afraid and subsequently have had a number of mental breakdowns and am currently under the care of the local mental health team.
    As I have no experience in the Law and no way to afford the fees without becoming homeless. the Ex's solicitor looks to take advantage of my lack of support and understanding of the requirements being requested and all attempts to get affordable support with the processes and all the rather lengthy forms as just trying to understand what is required causes me to suffer severe anxiety attacks for which I am currently needing medication
    When court issued letters setting dates that I could not meet due to lack of understanding and when addressing this with the mental health team the Clinical Psychologist issued a letter stating that I do not currently possess the mental capacity to understand the processes and procedures and the potential for me to be taken advantage of leaving me severely disadvantaged including losing my home would be unfair.
    The I sent this before the due dates both to the Judge and my Ex's solicitor long before the date for the exchange of Form E's and the court hearing which was at the beginning of this month and until today I have heard nothing until the court contacted me with a direction from the Judge saying that because I have been able to write to my solicitor (now Former) and the applicants solicitor he does not accept that I do not have mental capacity to understand what is being requested or indeed the the processes and procedures.
    I would contest that as all letters have been composed with the help of 2 friends/neighbours and whilst they can help formulate a letter and indeed my posts on this forum to seek advice in my name they are not legal professionals nor indeed have they been through such a procedure they merely are being supportive to me in helping to compose these letters and postings. Also given the nature of the ever escalating attacks on myself and given they are known to both my Ex and the neighbour they do not wish to become identified for fear of attacks on them, their family or their property for doing so, something that I respect,
    I find this approach by the judge to be very short sighted and lacking of empathy or understanding of the realities of mental health and the impact it can have, to expect me to get all my pension information, information for which I have been quoted costs that I cannot in any way afford when I have had letters sent requesting this so expecting me to be in a position to do the exchange of information I do not have and do not understand I feel is highly unreasonable and I would ask what options are open to me to stop me being subject to penal notices being issued which include having me imprisoned for failing to do something I just cannot do given my lack of capacity to fully understand what is wanted?
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  • #2
    Hi Photega,

    It must be really stressful for you. It sounds like your solicitor is currently on the record still which may be why the Court has taken this tone with you. They need to inform the Court they are no longer acting for you. I appreciate there is a cost involved but bearing in mind how you are struggling would it be worth discussing maybe other options for funding this so you can still have a solicitor helping you? Some lawyers may be willing to wait for their fee until the financial agreement is settled and they take their fee from the award that is made,. Of course this is only an option where there a assets that can be liquidised so to speak.

    All I would suggest is that you try and get as much information as you can. The Form E just sets out what assets you have so your bank balance you can get from your statements. I believe you have to provide several months statements in addition to filling the figure in the form.

    Any property that you own you need to know its value and what mortgage is left if any. Get an estate agent round to give a market value. The value of any car you have can be sought by googling what sorts of prices a similar age of the model goes for.

    It is a case of writing a standard letter to the mortgage lender and private pension to get the values. I'm sure your friends could help you with this. If the information is not returned to you in time for the Form E to be sent to the Court and the other side just let them know there is information outstanding but it has been requested and will be forwarded once received.

    This link may help if you decide to continue without a lawyer. It has written guides and also a short film. Maybe get one of your friends round to watch it with you so you know what you need to do. https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/...nt-form-e-film
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


    • #3
      Thanks for your comments.
      Unfortunately without making myself homeless there will be no assets to liquidate to gain funds to pay a solicitor, and having looked at the housing market as it stands what I currently pay in mortgage on a 3 bed detached house, which is only around 3 years from completion I would not be able to afford to rent a one bedroom flat in the worst area of town which currently run out at around 150 more per month.
      I have been looking at values of similar properties currently for sale in the area. I should also point out that the house is in shared ownership to the value of 34% so if sold would have to meet this obligation, this was done at a time when my physical health was compromised for some 18 months meaning I couldn't work.
      The car is on credit and was only bought months before we separated and I doubt I would get enough to pay off the finance let alone then afford another vehicle which I would need to be able to get to my workplace as public transport in this rural outback is not an option. With regard to the car we also need to take account that due to it being shot at and damaged by her friend it will not reach market value on sale either and in fact the damage to the house by the shootings will also affect it's value too as will its ability to be sold as I believe you are required to disclose if there are issues with neighbours.
      With regard to pensions, this will be highly complicated by the fact that a lot of my old pensions accrued before my marriage were all pulled into one employer pension so will I believe need the employment of an actuary to separate these out, I have written asking for a value for this and subsequent values but they can take upto 3 months to respond
      I will look at the links you have provided to see if there are more tips to be gleaned from these.


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