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Family law hear of parties questioning their own attorney’s motive, knowledge of the law, judgment on critical issues, etc. Again, boundaries should be established early. Any signs of third party interference should be dealt with immediately. GUARDIAN INITIATED DIVORCES The guardian/ward relationship is unusual and very personal. The guardian may be closely involved in the finances, living conditions, education, and many other personal matters of your client. The question of whether a guardian may initiate a divorce is likely to be asked more and more as the population ages and gray divorces occur. This issue was addressed in Alabama in Campbell v. Campbell. In that 1941 case the Court permitted a divorce to be brought by a “next friend.” Presumably a guardian could be substituted for next friend. A strong dissent in that case was presented by the Chief Justice in which he discussed the weaknesses of this decision. It should be noted that this case proceeded in a Court of Chancery under equity pleading – no statute involved. Rule 17 ARCP also provides authority for a guardian to initiate a divorce action. The Circuit Court may also appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for an impaired adult in divorce cases. Rule 17, Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, provides the authority for the court to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for an incompetent adult. Of course, the individual appointed must be qualified, and not related by blood or marriage to any of the parties, attorneys, or court officials. CONCLUSION If the present trend continues, many divorce practitioners will handle cases involving late-in-life divorces. Unique issues and challenges will be encountered. The wise lawyer will be prepared and will welcome this emerging demographic. J. Ron Boyd is a practitioner with Boyd, Fernambucq & Dunn, P.C. AN EXPERIENCED BANKRUPTCY PRACTICE Many people are facing serious financial challenges, and our experienced and compassionate attorneys can often help. For more than 25 years our practice has been focused on representing people in debt – from simple consumer bankruptcies to the most complex personal financial reorganizations. For unmatched experience and resources, call our dedicated bankruptcy attorneys. (205) 774-1121 www.bondandbotes.com 600 UNIVERSITY PARK PLACE, SUITE 510 / BIRMINGHAM AL 35209 FAX: (205) 802-2209 Alabama State Bar requires the following: “No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. We are Debt Relief Agents and Attorneys at Law. We can help people file for bankruptcy relief, where appropriate, under the bankruptcy code.” A8163559-01 Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Summer 2017 17


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