Ruth Hughes involved in important capacity to marry case

In the recent decision of the Court of Protection in Mundell v P [2019] EWCOP 50, Mostyn J has questioned whether having an understanding that the core of marriage is to “live together and to love one another” is an element of the test for capacity to marry. Mostyn J rejected the proposition that this was the essence of the marriage contract.

Mostyn J also set a low bar for the understanding of a financial claim on divorce. P must only be capable of understanding that a financial claim may lie on divorce.

Ruth Hughes acted for a professional deputy for property and affairs who was concerned that P’s marriage would render vulnerable his substantial personal injury award and had applied for interim declarations of lack of capacity which would have prevented the marriage ceremony.

P gave evidence at the hearing and Mostyn J was not satisfied that P lacked capacity applying the status specific and not person specific capacity to marry test.

However Mostyn J did depart from the general rule as to costs in health and welfare proceedings and awarded the deputy his costs of the application on the indemnity basis.

A copy of the decision can be found [here]