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Court Opens Door to Divorce for Mentally Disabled

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Supreme Court has opened the door to divorce for people who need guardians because of mental disabilities.  

For years, Illinois has barred mentally disabled people or their guardians from seeking a divorce. Experts say that included people with severe brain damage but also people who could make their wishes known despite Alzheimer's disease or mental illness.  

In a ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court said an outright ban is no longer appropriate. It said case-by-case hearings should determine what is in the disabled person's best interests.  The advocacy group Equip for Equality praises the ruling. They call it a "major change" that will look at each disabled person individually.

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