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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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Hi I was wondering I have a 16 year sister that is currently living with our aunt/uncle si

Customer Question

Hi I was wondering I have a 16 year sister that is currently living with our aunt/uncle since both of our parents are deceased. Since there was no living will from neither of our parents my grandmother took control and got a lawyer to grant her guardianship of her. She receives social security death benefits on both of our parents and pretty much pays all her own bills. She wants to be emancipated! How would she go about doing so in Iowa? I am 25 and am married and am willing to take her in if that is possible also. I am her oldest sibling and didn't know that i could take her in when our parents passed after finding out neither one had a living will. They both died from cancer(mom in 2005 and dad in 2010).
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hello. My name is Alex and I will be happy to answer your question.

I am so sorry to hear about your parents.

Unfortunately there is no emancipation statute in IOWA.

According to the case law a teen can be emancipate at the age of 17, but has to be self-supporting, have his/her own place to live, but most importantly it does require parent's or guardian's consent.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is it possible for her to petition the court to name me as her guardian since she is my blood relation meaning my younger sister? She is very unhappy with where she is. My father did not want her living with my aunt/uncle plus he did not want my grandmother to have any legal standing on where she goes. I am willing to take her in and live with me til she graduates and goes to college. Is there any legal way that can happen?
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Actually because your sister is a minor you can petition to the court for a change of custody, and the court will usually take the wishes of a 16 year old teenager seriously when making a determination.

As long as you have suitable living conditions for your sister and can show to the court that you can be a responsible guardian, generally there would be a good chance of judge approving the change of custody.

I still would recommend that you do consult and possibly retain a local attorney who can guide you through this process.


If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you have a ballpark idea of how much that would cost to petition for change of custody on my own? I would love to get an attorney but I only have $1000 saved right now.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 3 years ago.
It is hard to estimate, as different attorneys charge different fees.

Have you discussed it with your grandmother to see if she would consent to letting your sister live with you?
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Do you have any related follow up questions that I can answer for you?

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