Age of Majority
The age of majority
refers to the age when a person becomes a legal adult. The rights of the parent
of a student with a disability transfer to the student when the student reaches
the age of majority. In Florida, this is 18 years of age. Also, see "Legal Guides/Information".
Age of Majority and Guardianship
At the age of majority, 18 years of age in Florida, the student gains all of the legal rights and responsibilities of an adult. At this time, the educational decision-making rights of parents, including parents of a student with a disability, transfer to the young adult.
Young adults and their parents may have different ideas about the best steps to take to reach their goals. If you and your child who is over age 18 disagree with each other on a course of action, the school district should help you to resolve this conflict. Mediation may be appropriate in such a situation.
Where there are concerns about the student’s ability to participate in the process of educational decision-making, school district personnel should continue to work closely with the parents to ensure that appropriate decisions are made.
If the student has been determined incompetent by the court, then rights would not transfer to the student but would be retained by the individual appointed by the court as the student’s guardian. Please note that there are numerous options to consider regarding guardianship. There are alternatives to guardianship that employ the use of family, friends and/or advance directives. Additionally, there are different levels of guardianship to consider.
For more information on guardianship and other decision-making alternatives see resources below:
- Consider the Alternatives: Decision-Making Options of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities - Think College Insight Brief
- Disability Rights Florida
- The Florida Developmental
Disabilities Council, Lighting the Way to Guardianship and Other
Decision-Making Alternatives, A Manual for Individuals and Families