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Can I take out money from my daughter's settlement money that a judge court ordered into a cd account until she is 18 ?

Erie, PA |

My daughter was in a car accident when she was three years old. They judge then asked if i needed money for her care and well being but at the time she was four years old (2005) I didn't. Now in 2013, I need money for her care and well being. I live with my mother and two kids in a two bedroom apartment and child support comes when it feels. I cant save for my own apartment for caring for my children's needs. my child is now 13 years old and needs her own bedroom.

Attorney Answers 7

  1. You need to talk to whoever is the trustee over the settlement. They have the power to disburse funds for her care if they authorized to do so from the settlement. If they are not, you not hire an attorney to go before the Court to see if the Court will do anything about the issue.

  2. Maybe; start with the original attorney.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

  3. I cannot speak for how this works in PA. However, normally where an order of the court is necessary, approving the settlement of a minor's case, it is necessary to make an application to the original judge, if possible, to grant the release of a certain amount of money for a certain purpose which is necessary for the continued health and welfare of the child.

  4. I handle cases involving settlement funds for minors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding counties. I suggest you contact a local attorney for specific advice. I would start with the attorney who represented your daughter in the accident case.
    As you probably already know, in Pennsylvania, you need court approval to settle a case. This is accomplished by a petition to compromise a minor's action. A judge in the local Court Common Pleas reviews the petition, and if approved, the judge will issue an order. A typical order will require that the money be deposited into some type of bank account until the child reaches 18. If you want to try and change that order, you need to file a petition with that same court/judge asking the judge to modify/change the order. You would have to spell out your reasons why you want to take some of the child's money.

    To be honest, at least in the Philadelphia area, I don't think the reasons you stated in your question would be good enough and I don't think the judge would change the original order.

    I imagine an attorney would want to charge you for filing the petition. If someone came to me in this area, I would tell them not to waste their money. However, it may be different in your area. Whatever happens, I wish you luck

  5. A local lawyer could give it a shot, but most judges don't want a child's money squandered

  6. It's possible but tricky. THe court order says no one can touch the money until your child is 18--then it's her money. I'm sure the next phrase in the order says "absent further order of court" or something similar. So --get a further order of court. A petiton needs to be filed with the court making a good argument to why this money is needed now for the benefit of this child.
    How well you present your arguments and frankly who the judge is will make the difference.
    Let me give you a few examples. I recently asked the court to release money from a restricted a account to buy a computer for the child--his crashed. The court had no problem with this. In the same petiiton I asked for a three wheel vehicle--whatever they are called. I argued that the child's brother had one and the client who had a feeding tube from the age of 2 to the age of 5 and many surgical procedures never spent all that much time with his brother and this was an opportunity for some shared activity they could both enjoy together. I thought it was a neat little argument--the court did not. Not that long before this I presented a petiton for a child to buy a motocross bike. I argued that this was his "sport"--I guess motocross is a sport and he liked it and was good at it and needed his own bike. Wihout hesitation the court granted it. When I was a young lawyer and "didn't know any better" I asked for money to be released for the dad to buy a used car. His car broke down and he could not get to work. I Still remember the whiny, highpitched voice of the judge who said" "So we should have the child support the family?" I argued that the dad needed to work to feed his family included the child. (I guess you could make this argument in any case though.) The court granted it. I say when I didn't know any better since several lawyers responding do not give you much hope you will succed in this. I undertand why they are saying this and frankly I would say the same thing. However, when I was a young lawyerI took medical malpractice cases that turned out to be successful that today I would not take because I know better, I know they are not good cases. I've become too smart. They may be the same case though. You need to speak with an attorney willing to make a good argument for you. I file these for my clients all the time without cost. I see them as part of my representation on the original case. I am sure other attorneys may not see it that way. I would start with that lawyer and perhaps he/she will handle it without cost.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.

  7. Courts are very reluctant to modify original orders unless their is compelling financial evidence/reasons that directly affect the child to warrant the change.

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