is there a law that protects mentally ill from being taken advantage of?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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is there a law that protects mentally ill from being taken advantage of?

I have a 18 year old son who is on SSI from a mental illness. I have a situation where my son has met a girfriendl and his family I believe is trying to take advantage of him. After seeing sexual comments. and the questions the parents are asking my son about his financial situation and future job plans, I am getting concerned. The girl and her mother was working my son into trying to get her to move in with him, shich my son lives with me because of his condition. The girl has made comments about trying to get pregant. It was explained to the mother that I would sue them for trying to take advantage of my mentally ill son. She advised my son that there is nothing I can do about it. Is there a law that can help protect my son?

Asked on October 23, 2016 under Personal Injury, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You son is an adult at age 18. That means that even if he has a mental illness, he is legally considered compentent to manage his own affairs and make his own decisions UNLESS and only if there has been an actual court determination that he is not competent and someone has been appointed his legal guardian.
If he is incompetent and has a legal guardian, that guardian can act to protect his finances and may be able to determine his living situation, since a legal guardian makes the decisions for an incompetent person, the same way parents make decisions for minors. But if the courts have not found him incompetent and appointed you his guardian, there is nothing you can do
If he does not have a guardian but you feel he needs one, speak with an attorney who handles cases involving guardianships (e.g. one who deals with the disabled) to see what would be involved.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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