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My adult child is not medically compliant with his psychiatric treatment. What can I do to get him help?

By August 17, 2016July 21st, 2023Family Law, Susan Block Featured

By Susan E. Block

When a mentally ill child fails to follow a doctor’s orders, the consequences can range from alarming to fatal. Parents of non-compliant young adults understandably have grave concerns over their children’s welfare in such cases. Mentally ill patients who fail to take their medication may exhibit delusional thinking, self-care deficiencies, and erratic and disturbing behaviors.

If your child’s mental health provider has sufficient factual basis to sign an affidavit that your child can no longer meet his own needs, it can be used as the foundation for a petition in Probate Court for a request for a 96 hour hold. During that 96 hour time period your child will be held in a secure hospital setting to be evaluated, treated, and considered for a longer stay. Each case is unique.

In addition, you can petition the court for a limited guardianship for medical care and placement. This will provide you with a remedy if this occurs in the future. An attorney will be appointed to represent your adult child. The Probate Court will hear evidence on whether or not your adult child can take care of his own needs and make decisions about his welfare. Then the Court will decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to issue such letters for such a guardianship.

Consulting with an experienced lawyer who has regularly advised other families of this difficult area is key to getting immediate relief to a critical situation. At Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. we have lawyers who have mental health knowledge and combine that with good legal skills to guide you and your family.

We recommend that you be proactive so that you have time to strategize a plan for your child’s safety.


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