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The Florida Senate

2006 Florida Statutes

Section 744.301, Florida Statutes 2006

744.301  Natural guardians.--

(1)  The mother and father jointly are natural guardians of their own children and of their adopted children, during minority. If one parent dies, the surviving parent remains the sole natural guardian even if he or she remarries. If the marriage between the parents is dissolved, the natural guardianship belongs to the parent to whom custody of the child is awarded. If the parents are given joint custody, then both continue as natural guardians. If the marriage is dissolved and neither the father nor the mother is given custody of the child, neither shall act as natural guardian of the child. The mother of a child born out of wedlock is the natural guardian of the child and is entitled to primary residential care and custody of the child unless a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order stating otherwise.

(2)  Natural guardians are authorized, on behalf of any of their minor children, to:

(a)  Settle and consummate a settlement of any claim or cause of action accruing to any of their minor children for damages to the person or property of any of said minor children;

(b)  Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of the proceeds of any such settlement;

(c)  Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of any real or personal property distributed from an estate or trust;

(d)  Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of and make elections regarding the proceeds from a life insurance policy or annuity contract payable to, or otherwise accruing to the benefit of, the child; and

(e)  Collect, receive, manage, dispose of, and make elections regarding the proceeds of any benefit plan as defined by s. 710.102, of which the minor is a beneficiary, participant, or owner,

without appointment, authority, or bond, when the amounts received, in the aggregate, do not exceed $15,000.

(3)  All instruments executed by a natural guardian for the benefit of the ward under the powers specified in subsection (2) shall be binding on the ward. The natural guardian may not, without a court order, use the property of the ward for the guardian's benefit or to satisfy the guardian's support obligation to the ward.

History.--s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 8, ch. 75-166; s. 7, ch. 75-222; s. 1, ch. 77-190; s. 3, ch. 79-221; s. 17, ch. 89-96; s. 22, ch. 92-200; s. 66, ch. 95-211; s. 73, ch. 97-170; s. 11, ch. 2002-195; s. 8, ch. 2005-101; s. 3, ch. 2006-178.

Note.--Created from former s. 744.13.