What are my options if money was granted to me by a judge at age18, but my father will not give it to me?

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2011

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What are my options if money was granted to me by a judge at age18, but my father will not give it to me?

I was awarded a certain amount of money that my parents were to hold for me until I turned 18. I am now 19 and received only half of what the judge awarded. My father won’t give me the rest. What are my options to getting the rest?

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If your parents are wrongfully withholding the money, you could sue them and your remedy would be to establish a constructive trust.  A constructive trust would require your parents to turn the money over to you. 

If the provisions under which your parents are holding the money for you give them the discretion to pay you only part of the money for example for living expenses, this would be a spendthrift trust.  A spendthrift trust would allow your parents to give you a portion of the money at their discretion for your living expenses.

It depends on the language of the trust or other instrument which allows your parents to hold the money for you.  If the language just requires your parents to turn the money over to you at 18, then a constructive trust would be your remedy for their failure to turn over the money to you.

If some of the money is missing, you could request an accounting.  If some of the money was spent or invested, you could trace those funds and have a claim on those items that were purchased or investments made with the funds.


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