Guardians Cannot File for Divorce of Their Ward in KY
Today the Kentucky Court of Appeals issued a ruling affirming the Taylor County Court’s decision where a gentleman tried to file a Divorce against his wife. Riehle vs. Reihle 2014-CA-000372 The Taylor County court denied the husband’s right to file because he had been declared incompetent and his wife (the one he wants to divorce!) was his legal guardian. Most people would advise that he just get a new guardian appointed and then refile. Not so fast. Under the Kentucky Supreme Court’s ruling in Johnson v. Johnson 294 Ky. 77, 170 S.W.2d 889 (1943), a person that has ben declared legally incompetent has NO RIGHT to file a divorce. Even through a guardian or committee. The Supremes reasoned that “a divorce action is so strictly personal and volitional that it cannot be maintained at the pleasure of a committee, even though the result is to render the marriage indissoluble on behalf of the incompetent.” So, in Kentucky under current law, the only way for would be for the ward (or incompetent person) to ask a court to declare them competent again.