Harrison & Smyth, P.A.

Do You Help Individuals With Mental Health Issues?


Those with mental health issues are often misunderstood. The legal process can be very confusing and overwhelming. As attorneys, we listen and seek to understand those who experience mental health issues. We have experience in navigating the criminal and family law system for those with mental health issues. We are able to do this because we listen, communicate, and also collaborate with other professionals such as doctors, counselors, and family members to ensure everyone is on the same page with regard to the real issues and how to best move forward in the situation. We are able to help build a support team where there is collaboration. As issues are addressed, the individual is much more able to move forward in providing for themselves, contributing in the community, and providing for their families.

What Are The Different Types Of Guardianships and Conservatorships?

There are 3 different kinds of guardianships. There is guardianship for minors, guardianship for developmentally delayed individuals, and guardianship for incapacitated individuals.

Guardianship of a minor usually occurs when a parent or both parents are dysfunctional, either because of drugs or mental health issues or other difficulties in providing for the minor child. A grandparent or a friend steps in to take care of the child.

Guardianship for a developmentally delayed individual occurs when someone with a developmental disability such as intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, dyslexia from such impairments or other similar condition is turning 18. When they turn 18, they become legally able to handle their own affairs unless there is a guardian appointed.

Guardianship for an incapacitated individual usually occurs when someone who is elderly is not making wise financial decisions, so their children or friends step in to help make decisions about where to live.

In all 3 instances of guardianship, someone is appointed to watch over another individual. The Court wants to ensure each individual is being properly taken care of, while at the same time allowing an individual to take care of their affairs as much as possible.

A conservatorship is often sought at the same time as the guardianship in order to ensure any money or property of the individual is properly taken care of.

What Is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law seeks to collaborate among different professionals. It could apply to any area of law: business law, family law, criminal law, probate, or estate planning. It’s where we as attorneys, with you, seek to determine your needs. If we both agree it would be helpful to talk with financial planners, counselors, doctors, family, friends, or other professionals in order to truly come up with the best plan for your situation, then we do so after receiving your permission. We collaborate with these other professionals to ensure you are receiving the best services, taking into account all the different expertise from the different professionals.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is often referred to as an alternative to litigation. It’s one of the components of the overarching principles of collaborative law. In mediation, both parties come in, we listen to their issues and try and help each party understand the other’s views and interests. The mediator helps them come to a reasonable resolution they both can live with. Litigation is usually very divisive, costly, and lengthy; mediation is much less expensive and usually leads to a more favorable longer term result.

For more information on Mentally Ill Individuals In Idaho, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (208) 552-1165 today.

HARRISON & SMYTH, P.A.

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(208) 552-1165