Is a person you care about going through a divorce? Do you think that person, not only needs an attorney, but needs someone to act in his/her best interest due to his/her cognitive disability?
If this person in your life is mentally incapacitated, it is likely his/her attorney will petition the Court for appointment of a guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem protects, preserves and secures the interests of the individual that is mentally incapacitated.
It is generally accepted that a guardian ad litem cannot be appointed for a party unless the party’s mental unsoundness is such as to render him unfit for government of himself and property. Webb v. Webb, 96 N.J. Eq. 1 at 5, 124 A. 706 at 708, (1924). In addition, a party’s failure to give attention and care to preparation of a defense is not grounds for appointment of a guardian ad litem, as long as the party has the capacity to appoint an attorney to prepare and conduct a defense on his behalf. Id. at 5.
Accordingly, advise your friend to address this matter with his/her attorney so that all avenues can be explored as to effective representation.