Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Dissolving a Guardianship in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Family Law » Dissolving a Guardianship in Iowa

In Iowa, a guardianship either ends or can be dissolve in the following circumstances


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: (1) when the ward reaches the age of majority (eighteen), (2) upon the death of the ward, (3) a determination by the court that the ward is no longer a person whose decision-making capacity is impaired, and (4) a determination by the court that the guardianship is no longer necessary for any other reason.

Under the third reason, to terminate a guardianship, the ward must make a prima facie showing that the ward has some decision-making capacity. Once the ward makes this showing, then the guardian has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the ward’s decision-making capacity is so impaired that the guardianship should not be terminated. If the court appointed a guardian for the child as a transfer of a juvenile case, then the court cannot enter an order terminating the guardianship before the child’s eighteenth birthday unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child warrants the return of the child to the parent(s).

Conversely, the guardian may petition the court anytime after the appointment, requesting that the person is no longer the proper subject and asking that the guardianship be terminated. If the guardianship was established pursuant to a transfer of a juvenile case, a petition cannot be filed asking that the guardianship be terminated or modified for at least six months after the guardianship order was entered, unless the child or guardian dies or other exceptional circumstances exist.


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If the petition to terminate the guardianship is denied, then no other petition to terminate can be filed for at least six months.


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