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Guardian may not file for divorce on behalf on incapacitated adult

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Citing a 1951 Indiana Supreme Court case, the Court of Appeals has affirmed that the law does not allow a guardian of an incapacitated person to file a petition for divorce on behalf of the incapacitated person.

Harry and Virginia Tillman were married in 1998. A prenuptial agreement stated the husband would provide for his wife during their marriage “reasonable support, care and maintenance.” The two are now both considered incapacitated and Harry Tillman’s daughter, as his guardian, filed a petition for divorce on behalf of her father. He was living in a nursing home and she argued he needed his money to pay for his care. Virginia Tillman’s guardian filed a petition to enforce provisions of the prenup, and later filed a motion to dismiss the petition for divorce. The trial court granted the wife’s motion based on Quear v. Madison Circuit Court, 99 N.E.2d 254 (Ind. 1951).

In Quear, the justices held that an insane person can’t bring an action for divorce because he or she can’t consent to the filing of the complaint. It also held the statutes on divorce and guardianship do not allow for a guardian to file the petition for dissolution.

“Neither the current Indiana statutes governing dissolution of marriage nor governing the guardianship of incapacitated persons provide a means for the guardian of an incapacitated person to file a petition for dissolution of marriage on behalf of the incapacitated person,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote in In Re the Marriage of: Harry L. Tillman v. R. Virginia Tillman, 87A05-1212-DR-619.

“Some might argue that the intervening decades of higher and higher divorce rates and the creation of federal and state programs to assist the elderly have radically changed civil society’s notions concerning what the vows of ‘for better and for worse’ mean. Therefore, for some, this might seem an appropriate time to revisit Quear,” he continued. “But Quear relied on the public policy pronouncements of the General Assembly within Indiana’s divorce and guardianship statutes, and those statutes have not changed appreciably regarding the issue before us since Quear.”

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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