I am a widowed, disabled single parent. Was told monies go into an account that can not be touched until he turns 18. Lord knows i can use some of it to catch up on bills
The Court will oversee the settlement and will direct that the money go into an account on behalf of your injured son. One of the reasons for this oversight is so that parents don't spend their child's injury recovery.
Only in the most special of circumstances where the money is needed for a child's education, etc will a Court allow some to be used at settlement. They will certainly not allow you to take money to pay bills.
Not without a Court Order. You'd have to make an application to he court, and make a strong showing that you need the money for your son's benefit. For example, if you and your son are living in the back of the car, A court might find an appropriate use of a settlement would be to get a roof over his head, and the use of the money would be severely restricted and monitored. Unless the bills were incurred caring for your son i.e hospital bills, you aren't going to see any of it.
The check will be made payable to you as natural guardian of your child and an officer of the bank in which you deposit the money. You will need a copy of the Compromise Order from the Court to open the account. You will not be able to make a withdrawal from that account without a further order from the Court. The court will absolutely NOT allow you to withdraw money to pay your expenses. Its your child's money.. not yours.
I suggest that you speak with your attorney concerning what, if any, derivative claim you may be entitled to as his mother. Many states allow for a parent's derivative claim for nursing care, lost earnings to care for the child, loss of the child's services and other miscellaneous expenses etc.
Your attorney can tell you what, if any, money from your son's settlement portion could be used to pay for his necessities. Generally monies will be placed into a guardianship controlled by the probate court or similar court until your son reaches 18. Speak with your attorney.
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Absolutely NOT. I know times are tight, but it is not your money to take. Also, it is highly unlikely that when your son does turn 18 that you will have the money to repay him. That money is to compensate your son for his injuries. It is for exactly this reason that a law like this was created. Your son's lawyer is correct, the settlement must be placed in a safe, interest bearing account until your son turns 18 years-old.
No, it is not your money. If some is needed to help support your child,
perhaps a judge might allow it, but I doubt it.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.
Joseph A. Bollhofer, P.C.
291 Lake Ave.
St. James, NY 11780
Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
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