Family Law

Family Law News Issue 2, 2019, Volume 41, No. 2

Representative Divorce: Musings on Dissolving a Marriage Based on Legal Incompetence

Dawn Gray

Dawn Gray has practiced family law for 35 years and has been a Certified Specialist in Family Law for 28 years. Since 1994, her practice has been dedicated to research and writing projects for family law and civil attorneys. She works with many family law attorneys throughout the state on their cases, doing research, drafting pleadings and appellate briefs. She is a past president of ACFLS and is currently on its Amicus committee. She is also a past member of FLEXCOM, serving as the Executive Editor of the Family Law News. She gives frequent presentations and continuing education classes on family law issues. Dawn is also the principal author of the 11-volume series "Complex Issues in California Family Law." She is a member of the editorial board of the California Family Law Monthly and a frequent contributor to family law publications throughout the state.

I. Introduction

In the past century or so, life expectancy in our country has increased dramatically. As many baby boomers are aware, 60 is the new 40 and more people than ever before are working well into their 70s. With longer lives, many people enter into second and even third marriages later in life. However, living longer does not necessarily mean that our minds stay as healthy as our bodies. As we age, mental incapacity, including dementia in its many forms, can deprive us of our ability to manage the details of everyday life, while our bodies are still reasonably strong. We see this with aging parents and friends; their ability to deal with life’s logistics slips gradually, even though they are still relatively active.

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