Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Iowa Supreme Court Ruling : Parents Have Preference in Child Custody Cases

From The Gazette:

Iowa Supreme Court ruled that parents must be given preference in regaining custody of their children in cases where other people have been caring for their children through a guardianship.

When parents are seeking the return of their children and dissolving of a guardianship, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the child's best interests for the minor child to be reunited with parents. The underlying reason, according to the court, is that parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody and control of their children.

In this case, a girl was born to a 16-year-old woman. The marriage failed and the child went back to live with her grandparents, with visits from her mother on weekends. Accordingly, mother and grandparents agreed to a temporary guardianship. When the mother seeks to regain custody of her daughter, she has demonstrated the ability to provide a place for her daughter as well as the ability to support and care. 

The juvenile court terminated the guardianship. The grandparents appealed and Iowa Court of Appeals reserved it after weighing on what is in the best interest of the daughter. The Supreme Court overturned the appeals court.

Read more here.

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