If my ex-husband closed our children’s savings accounts and took their money, do they have legal rights?

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2010

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If my ex-husband closed our children’s savings accounts and took their money, do they have legal rights?

My ex-husband opened a savings account for my 2 children when they were about 5 years-old. They were made to put in all of their allowance, as well as birthday and Christmas money throughout the years. They are now 16 and 18, and have just discovered that he recently closed the account and took off with their money? Do they have any rights?

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

What I am assuming here is that these were accounts that were based upon the Uniform Gift To Minor's Act (UGMA accounts) and that your Husband was the named adult on the account, correct?  These type of accounts are held in trust for the needs of the children and it is assumed that parents can at times dip in to pay for the needs of the children. If this is not the case then who is listed as the owner of the accounts?  I would speak with an attorney in your area on what you can do with regard to this matter.  How the accounts are held will have a bearing on the issues here and what the kids can do.  I would try any avenue to get the money back for them.  Good luck.

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