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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title VI
CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 61
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; SUPPORT; TIME-SHARING
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F.S. 61.1255
61.1255 Support for dependent adult children; legislative intent; powers of court.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature to:
(a) Codify and clarify existing common law and Florida case law recognizing that the parents of a dependent adult child have an obligation to support that child.
(b) Provide procedures for establishing support for a dependent adult child.
(c) Provide safeguards, when establishing court-ordered support for a dependent adult child, to protect and preserve any means-based government benefits the dependent adult child is receiving or may be entitled to receive.
(2) POWERS OF COURT.
(a) For purposes of this section, the term “dependent adult child” means an unmarried adult who is incapable of self-support as a result of a physical or mental incapacity that began before the person reached the age of 18.
(b) A civil suit to establish support for a dependent adult child may only be filed in circuit court in the county in which the dependent adult child resides by one of the following:
1. The dependent adult child or his or her agent under a durable power of attorney.
2. A parent or other person on behalf of the dependent adult child.
3. The dependent adult child’s guardian advocate appointed under chapter 393 or guardian appointed under chapter 744, if the dependent adult child’s right to sue or defend lawsuits has been removed by the court.
(c) A civil suit to establish support for a dependent adult child may be filed at any time after he or she reaches the age of 17 years and 6 months, unless such an order is already in place having been established during the child’s minority.
(d) If a court has jurisdiction over the parties because of an issue of child support, the parents may agree in writing to provide for dependent adult child support in the existing case if the agreement is submitted to the court for approval before the dependent adult child reaches the age of 18. Otherwise, the amount of support to be paid by one or both parents must be established in a separate support proceeding in circuit court pursuant to paragraph (b).
(e) Support ordered after the dependent adult child reaches the age of 18 may be paid only to the dependent adult child or his or her court-appointed guardian advocate, guardian, or agent under a durable power of attorney. However, the court may irrevocably assign the support to a special needs trust under 42 U.S.C. s. 1396p(d)(4)(A) or to a pooled trust under 42 U.S.C. s. 1396p(d)(4)(C) established for the benefit of the dependent adult child by the dependent adult child, his or her agent under a durable power of attorney, the court, a parent or grandparent, a guardian, or a guardian advocate who has been delegated those rights in order to maintain the dependent adult child’s means-based government benefits.
(f) The Department of Revenue may not file a petition to establish, modify, or enforce a support order under this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2023-213.