Iowa Supreme Court: Parents have preference in child custody cases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that parents must be given preference in regaining custody of their children in cases where other people have been caring for the kids through a guardianship.

In a decision involving the case of a single mother and her child’s grandparents, the court on Friday established that parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody and control of their children.

The court said that in cases where parents are seeking the return of children and a dissolving of a guardianship, the juvenile court must presume “the child’s best interests are served by reuniting the minor child with their parent.”

The ruling was prompted by the case of a child born to a 16-year-old mother. The child lived mostly with her grandparents but the mother sought full return of custody.

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