If I am mentally ill and was told to sign legal documents, is this binding?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2011

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If I am mentally ill and was told to sign legal documents, is this binding?

I have been mentally ill for years. I was “encouraged ” to sign divorce paper I did not understand. Is this binding? Can the ruling be overturned and is there liability incurred by those that made me sign them?

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Family Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The  answer is "maybe"--it depends on your mental competency. Being mentally ill (e.g. suffering from depression, an OCD discorder, being bipolar, etc.) does *not* necessarily mean you are not competent to sign, and be bound by, contracts, settlements, divorce papers, etc. Only if your mental state is such that you essentially did not understand the consequences of your action or were powerless to control your response would you likely be able to have the paper set aside. It is worth discussing with a divorce or family law attorney, but again, you have to be prepared that it is a high standard for showing this.

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