If a man is hospitalized for a mental illness, can his wife negotiate and collect on his paycheck?

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If a man is hospitalized for a mental illness, can his wife negotiate and collect on his paycheck?

My husband has been hospitalized for a mental illness and his boss is refusing to allow me to discuss his paycheck or even the possibility to collect the paycheck without my husband’s permission, which I cannot get because of the hospitalization.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an attorney about the best way of achieving it--it will take some paperwork and legal action on your behalf. The employer is correct, to begin with, in that being married does not, without more, give you the right to discuss pay or wages or to collect or negotiate a paycheck. If your husband had granted you power of attorney (a broad-based one, including banking powers) previously, before becoming mentally ill, that would probably have sufficed; however, if he is now mentally ill, he probably cannot grant a power of attorney. You may need to have your husband declared incompetent and yourself apointed as his legal guardian to have the authority you want; again, the best thing to do is to discuss this with an attorney, who can evaluate what would work best for you. Good luck.


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