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: New Hampshire Law Blog

Can Parents Spend Money From Their Child's Settlement?

By David Austin and Jim Burke

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When a child is injured and brings a claim against another person in New Hampshire for that injury, the law prevents parents from spending the money, except as permitted by the court, in most circumstances. 

Parents do not receive the money from substantial settlements or verdicts, but it is instead placed in a restricted account and can only be used by permission of the probate court.  The reason for this is simple; New Hampshire law is intended to make sure that any money paid for a child's injuries is available to the child in the future for the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, living expenses, special education, etc.   

Sometimes, this causes a great deal of stress and concern on the part of parents.  They often feel that they should be able to have access to the money as needed to care for their injured child.  However, the law is very specific, and parents are not given unfettered access to the child's funds.  The intent of the law is to protect children from parents who might use the funds for purposes other than care and treatment of the child. 

What this means is more delay and more legal work when it comes to attending to the child's needs.  In my opinion, most parents are conscientious about their children, and are concerned most with getting them the care and resources they need.  It is unfortunate that the potential actions of a few parents requires such drastic measures that affect families of injured children.

Full post as published by New Hampshire Law Blog on May 16, 2005 (boomark / email).

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