Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Dissolving a Guardianship in Illinois

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

In Illinois, a guardianship for a minor automatically is dissolved when the minor reaches the age of majority. Before reaching the age of majority, a parent may file a petition to discharge the guardian and terminate the guardianship for a minor.

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The parent must show by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been a material change of circumstance for the minor or the parent since the entry of the order appointing the guardian. The guardian can prevent the termination of the guardianship by establishing by clear and convincing evidence that termination is not in the best interest of the minor.

In determining best interest, the court considers the following: 1) the interaction and interrelationship of the minor with the parent and any persons in the parent’s home, 2) the ability of the parent to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the minor, 3) the relative stability of the parties and the minor, 4) the minor’s adjustment to his or her home, and 5) the nature and extent of the visitation between the parent and the minor and the guardian’s ability and willingness to facilitate visitation.
If the guardianship is for an adult ward, the adult ward, a person on behalf of the adult ward, or an attorney may file a petition or the court on its own motion may terminate the guardianship. The ward or any person on the ward’s behalf may communicate the desire for termination to the court by any means, including an informal letter, telephone call, or visit. Upon receipt of such request, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the ward to investigate, report to the court, and prepare the petition, if warranted.

After the petition is filed, a hearing date is set, and notice is provided to the ward and the guardian not less than fourteen days before the hearing. At the hearing, the ward is entitled to be represented by a court-appointed attorney, to have a jury of six persons, to present evidence, and to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. The guardianship may be terminated if the ward’s capacity to perform tasks necessary for the care of his or her person or the management of his or her estate has been demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence. A report or testimony of a physician is not a prerequisite for termination.

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After the hearing, the court enters an order setting forth the factual basis for its findings and may 1) dismiss the petition, 2) terminate the disability adjudication, 3) revoke the letters of guardianship, 4) modify the duties of the guardian, or 5) make any other order the court deems appropriate and in the interests of the ward.

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