Wife Was Competent to Execute a Settlement Agreement Even Though Treating Psychiatrist Testified That When He Saw Her Four Days Later She Was in "Acute Stage" of Bipolar Affective Disorder

Arey v. Arey, No. 0801-05-3, 2005 WL 2205646 (Va. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2005)

To be binding, both parties to a contractual agreement must be mentally competent. Under Virginia law, each party is presumed to be competent and a party later seeking to establish incompetence has a "heavy burden" to show by clear and convincing evidence that the person "lacked the capacity to understand the nature and consequences" of the transaction.  A failure to exercise good judgment or to make wise decisions will not establish a party's incompetence...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1