If a child gets injured because of another person’s negligent actions, he or she may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit and collect compensation. Often times, the parents have control over this money until the child turns a certain age. If parents are divorced or legally separated, it can make things more tricky.
Typically, the parent who receives custody of the child is responsible for managing the money from the personal injury settlement. If parents share joint custody, the parent who has primary custody will most likely manage the money. In some cases, however, the court may decide to give the money to the non-primary custodial parent. Parents should remember that the money belongs to their child and that court is responsible for making a decision that considers the best interests of the child.
Personal Injury Awards for Children
A large personal injury settlement awarded to a child will be distributed in two parts in most cases. The first payment may take care of immediate financial losses that resulted from the injury, like medical bills and legal expenses. The second payment may cover future medical expenses and pain and suffering damages and is usually put in a trust fund for the child. If parents want access to this money, they must first get a court’s permission. When the child turns 18, he or she will have full access to this money and can use it in any way he or she pleases.
After a personal injury settlement, a child’s parents have a fiduciary responsibility toward their child, even if they are divorced. The court may restrict how much access a parent has to the personal injury award to protect a child’s best interests.
If you want to learn more about how your parental rights can affect your child’s personal injury award, you might want to make an appointment to see an experienced family lawyer Phoenix AZ locals trust. He or she can evaluate your case and inform you of your legal obligations.
During your consultation with a family attorney, do not be afraid to ask questions about his or her skills and experience. For example, you may want to find out how many cases similar to yours he or she has handled in the past or where he or she went to law school.
Thanks to our friends and contributors for Hildebrand Law for their insight into family and child custody compensation cases.