Our founder, Tim Farmer, was one of the expert witnesses involved in the Re DMM (2017) case and it was his report that first raised the issue of needing to consider the impact of marriage upon a Will. The result of this has been a clarification of the threshold of understanding in regards to marriage.
Priya was a young lady with learning difficulties. We were contacted by a local authority after claims that Priya had been married without consent when she was on holiday with her family. We were asked to conduct an assessment on her capacity to marry (which also includes capacity to engage in sexual relationships). It was really important to remember that this was an assessment of Priya’s mental capacity, rather than a judgement on the practice of forced marriage.
As it turned out, Priya did not understand what marriage entailed (or that she had actually got married) and neither did she understand anything about sexual relationships. She was therefore deemed to lack capacity and our report was used as evidence in Court.
If you need an assessment of or have concerns about someone’s capacity to marry or engage in sexual relationships, then please get in touch.