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Elderly parents

I'm in a horrific situation with my mother

30 replies

BlueMountainAir · 15/03/2023 15:30

My parents were over 20 years separated and they never sorted anything out between themselves. Then it was discovered 5 years ago that my father built up a lot of debt and at some stage this was likely going to become my mothers debt or the family home was in jeopardy because they were still married.

My mother start divorce proceedings. I think she was 66 at the time.

She's a senior now and in her early 70s.

About 18 months i began to notice some things with her and I began to wonder about her and lean into the possibility of a dementia happening with her. I chatted to her GP last summer about my concerns but I am nowhere further along with a diagnosis. Every day is different with her. Sometimes she is OK. Than other times not so great. It does look as if her face struggles to keep any conversation going at times.

I am getting concerned now in relation to the divorce because the divorce was started 5 years ago and there is still no progress being made. There is still no hearing date. It doesn't take this long. The divorce was supposed to be cleanish enough with the wish being the family home going to my mother. All these years later from the start of it - there's nothing. I have an issue now in that she's now become extremely apathetic about it all. She was always apathetic with legal stuff so it's not a change in her. She got a fright with his debt and moved with a divorce. I think at this stage there has to be someone there to drive a divorce forward. Get onto their solicitor and get it moved along. My father is never going to do that. Not it looks like my mother is the same. I asked her this morning, can she please contact her solicitor and get a timeline for the divorce and all she did was going into a ranty mood telling me that sure he doesn't know himself so how can he tell me.

I mean like this has taken 5 years? How many more years is it going to take them? I asked for a simple request to move this along but she won't do it.

I'm utterly astonished. 5 fucking years and still not done.

I would be in touch with her solicitor myself of I knew he would deal with me but he won't.

Where do I go now. The divorce has to go ahead so some things can be finalised but she's not moving it forward.

OP posts:
Onewildandpreciouslife · 18/03/2023 14:57

I’m sorry the lack of progress is causing you stress OP, but I’m not sure why you think this is “horrific”? What are the consequences for your mum of the divorce not going through?

hopelesslydevotedtoGu · 18/03/2023 15:06

It's not the solicitor being slow which has dragged the divorce out for 5 years. Even the slowest of solicitors could do an uncontested divorce within 5 years! For whatever reason, your mum doesn't want to complete the divorce. It makes no sense, it is infuriating, but you can't make her do the sensible thing.

From your later posts, it sounds like she has been a difficult person at times in the past, and this behaviour is not completely out of character.

What I would do is say if she wants your practical help in dealing with the solicitor, or being a LPA, you will do that. And otherwise leave the subject, as you will not change her mind and you will only end up very frustrated yourself.

Gablonz · 18/03/2023 15:41

Can you explain more why this divorce has to take place?
If she doesn't want to/can't be bothered to push for the divorce then it won't happen.
I don't really understand why it has to and why you are so invested in this. Why are you pushing for this?

Seasider2017 · 18/03/2023 15:49

Why do you do the divorce yourself online if it’s straight forward?

obviously the house is mortgaged free, so you could ring the land registry and see how you get husband name taken off deeds ?

do you know husband’s address? Would he be willing to sign it over if you got the paper work I in hand just for him to sign it if he’s willing

Tiani4 · 19/03/2023 09:06

Social workers will say it's a "lifestyle choice" of your mother's to decide not to act. They don't want to provide help and your mother isn't going to want it or accept it anyway. Their only concern re the house will be whether they can sell it to pay towards care home fees when the time comes.

This is a bit off. It's not that SWs don't want to help it's that SWs can't and won't help someone divorce as it's not within their statutory powers and duties to do so. Its that simple. It's like expecting your hip surgeon to rewire your house.

A solicitor can assist with advice and filing for divorce because it's within their remit and area of expertise. If they don't believe your mother has capacity to instruct them on this specific matter, they will give advice on options.

Re SW role.
If she were escaping domestic abuse, that falls under safeguarding SW remit to support her to find safe accomodation, risk assess, develop protection plan and signpost her to legal advice for non mol order and other steps she might decide to take. That's from a safeguarding remit only. This isn't that

OP, your Mum has been separated twenty years from your Dad, she spoke to a solicitor 4 years ago. If her priority was to divorce Dad, she would have done so years ago on grounds of irretrievable breakdown in relationship and separation - when she definitely had capacity to make those specific legal decisions, She would have taken all the legal steps solicitor advised her to, to protect her financial position, write a new will, etc

If she hasn't, it is not & was not important enough to her (not as it is to you)

You can't use the capacity act in this circumstance for this decision if she lacks capacity to make the decision, but even if you could - her past behaviour demonstrates she had no commitment to seeing a divorce through. That's what you have to consider in best interests planning.

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