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By: Sarah K. Anderson | January 23, 2018 5:22pmUpdated: January 24, 2018 3:42pmThe cost of filing a claim for a court-ordered guardianship in Florida has increased by nearly 10 percent, according to a report released Thursday.
The Florida Department of Health says the cost of the guardianship filing has increased from $7,500 to $9,200, a 7 percent increase.
“We’ve seen the increase in the number of people who are filing for guardianship and now the increase for the costs of the claims is just astronomical,” said Kristina Henningsen, the executive director of the Florida Association of Family Courts.
The report notes that the average fee for filing a guardianship claim has increased, from $4,400 to $6,900 since 2014.
In some cases, it’s more than double that.
The Florida Department is not releasing the number for how many people have filed for guardianships this year.
The agency is also not releasing a breakdown of how many are in guardianship or the number who have a legal guardian.
Henninsen said the Florida Attorney General’s office will release the breakdown when the new year begins.
The increase is particularly dramatic because the Florida legislature enacted the Guardianship Statute, which was adopted in 2016, but is not yet in effect.
The statute allows people to be guardians when they are 18 and older.
The state is not enforcing it.
In 2017, the average guardianship fee for a Florida person filing a legal guardianship petition was $6.25 per day, according a 2016 report from the Florida Bar Association.
It was $5.50 per day in 2016.
The new report does not provide a breakdown for the fees in 2016 and 2017.
The Department of Children and Families estimates that the annual fee for guardians’ legal guardians is $1,300 for the most recent filing, $1.25 for the previous filing and $900 for any additional guardianship filings.
The Attorney General has not released the breakdown for how much each legal guardian will be paid.
The state is requiring people who want to file a guardians’ petition for a family court hearing to go to court and pay the fees, but not to the court or the lawyer, according, the Florida Department for Children and Family.
In most cases, a person’s legal guardian, if there is one, will be appointed, but in some cases the court may not.
The lawyer has the authority to request an appointment, but there are exceptions, according the report.
“You should know, that you’re not just filing a lawsuit.
You’re also paying for the attorney fees, for the court costs, for any time spent in mediation with the family court, any time the attorney’s time and attention goes to the case,” said John Cottreau, who heads the Family Law Resource Center in Miami.
Henningsensen said she is concerned that the number is increasing so quickly and that more children may not be eligible for guardians.
Hensingsen said that the law requires that any children eligible for court-appointed legal guardians must be at least 14 and that in some counties that is 16.
The law also requires that in order to obtain a legal visitation order, a child must be physically present.
The Attorney General declined to comment on how many cases the department is receiving this year, citing privacy issues.
The Department of Family and Protective Services said that they are receiving more requests for guardians petitions, and they expect to receive more requests in the coming months.
The department also said that it is reviewing how to process petitions from other jurisdictions, including in Washington, D.C., and New York.HENNINGSENSEN said that in recent years, more and more people have become guardians in Florida, and the state has seen a dramatic increase in cases filed for custody and visitation orders.
“People are asking for guardians more and less, and that’s a concern, especially with the cost and the length of time that people are waiting for their cases to be heard,” she said.
Heningensen added that in Florida in 2017, guardians were more likely to be ordered by a judge, with only about 15 percent of guardians seeking custody orders.