Supreme Court Overturns Bayliss

Supreme Court Overturns Bayliss

If you regularly practice family law you probably already know that on October 4th the Alabama Supreme Court overturned Ex parte Bayliss, 550 So.2d 986 (1989) which had held that § 30-3-1 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, authorized a trial court in a divorce proceeding to order a non-custodial parent to pay college expenses for children past the age of majority.

Chief Justice Moore wrote the main opinion, with which Justices Parker and Wise concurred, and also an additional opinion to further support the court’s reversal of Bayliss and to further expound on his writing in Ex parte Tabor, 840 So.2d 115, 123-30 (Ala. 2002) (Moore, C.J., concurring in part and dissenting in part), discussing the separation-of-powers doctrine and the fundamental rights of parents. Justices Stewart and Bolin concurred specially and Justices Murdock and Shaw wrote separate dissenting opinions.  Justice Bryan recused himself because he was a member of the Court of Civil Appeals when the case was decided.  The opinions make interesting reading, and any practitioner who handles divorces should be aware of this case. The case is styled Ex parte Christopher 112038 and can be found in Casemaker. You may need to be logged in for the links above to work.