Florida Statutes Title XLIII. Domestic Relations § 743.015. Disabilities of nonage;  removal

(1) A circuit court has jurisdiction to remove the disabilities of nonage of a minor age 16 or older residing in this state upon a petition filed by the minor's natural or legal guardian or, if there is none, by a guardian ad litem.

(2) The petition shall contain the following information:

(a) The name, address, residence, and date of birth of the minor.

(b) The name, address, and current location of each of the minor's parents, if known.

(c) The name, date of birth, custody, and location of any children born to the minor.

(d) A statement of the minor's character, habits, education, income, and mental capacity for business, and an explanation of how the needs of the minor with respect to food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other necessities will be met.

(e) Whether the minor is a party to or the subject of a pending judicial proceeding in this state or any other jurisdiction, or the subject of a judicial order of any description issued in connection with such pending judicial proceeding.

(f) A statement of the reason why the court should remove the disabilities of nonage.

(3) If the petition is filed by the natural or legal guardian, the court must appoint an attorney ad litem for the minor child, and the minor child shall be brought before the court to determine if the interest of the minor will be fully protected by the removal of disabilities of nonage.  The attorney ad litem shall represent the child in all related proceedings.

(4) If the petition is filed by the guardian ad litem or next friend, service of process must be perfected on the natural parents.

(5) If both parents are not jointly petitioning the court for the removal of the disabilities of nonage of the minor, service of process must be made upon the nonpetitioning parent.  Constructive service of process may be used, provided the petitioning parent makes an actual, diligent search to discover the location of, and provide notice to, the nonpetitioning parent.

(6) The court shall consider the petition and receive such evidence as it deems necessary to rule on the petition.  If the court determines that removal of the disabilities of nonage is in the minor's best interest, it shall enter an order to that effect.  An order removing the disabilities of nonage shall have the effect of giving the minor the status of an adult for purposes of all criminal and civil laws of the state, and shall authorize the minor thereafter to exercise all of the rights and responsibilities of persons who are 18 years of age or older.

(7) The court shall consider the petition and, if satisfied that the removal of the disabilities is in the minor's best interest, shall remove the disabilities of nonage;  and shall authorize the minor to perform all acts that the minor could do if he or she were 18 years of age.

(8) The judgment shall be recorded in the county in which the minor resides, and a certified copy shall be received as evidence of the removal of disabilities of nonage for all matters in all courts.

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