Is Court Approval Required to Settle a Minor's Claim in Florida?

In Florida, the TV advertising lawyers talk a lot about settling cases. What you do not hear much about is whether, or when, settlement of a case must be approved by a court. Attorneys handling probate matters often are asked to assist in getting court approval when it is required.

In Florida, the most basic rule involving court approval of a settlement pertains to minors. Simply stated, a court need not approve a settlement where the amount does not exceed $15,000.00. However, where the settlement amount exceeds $15,000.00, then court approval is required.

To get this approval, if there is an injury lawsuit filed, the approval can be obtained by filing a Motion to Approve Minor Settlement with the assigned Circuit Court judge. If there is no pending action, then the approval may be obtained by filing such a Motion with the applicable probate court.

When the net amount to be received by the minor exceeds $15,000.00, then a guardian of the property must be set up for the minor. If there is no such guardianship in place, the court approving the settlement may require that it be established.

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