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Dan, Retired JD
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1164
Experience:  Retired attorney, general practice, with an additional background in financial planning,
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My husband died a year ago Iam raising two kids on my own ...

Customer Question

My husband died a year ago Iam raising two kids on my own now .My daughter has a annunity for an injury at birth .I wanted to know if Im able to get some of here money to help me take care of her.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.


You are in a bind because her money can't be used to cover an expense that falls within your basic legal duty to support her.

I had a similar case where a child's father died and left the son (age 12 or so) some insurance money. (The mom and dad never married.) We had to ask the court to allow the mom to use some of the money to buy son a computer. Our argument was that a computer did not fall within the category of things that a parent mom would have to buy for him under her legal duty to support (its not food, clothes, shelter, or anything similar), but that having a computer at home would improve his educational opportunities, and that it was something she could not afford to buy herself for him due to her low income. The court accepted those arguments and allowed his money to be used for that purpose.

The theory is that if you could use your daughter's money to pay for things that are your obligation to provide, then the benefit actually accrues to you (it lowers what you have to spend) and not her.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so she goes to o.t. and p.t every week would i be able to get money for needs like that and she goes to a doctor every month which is 350 every sixs months. my insurance doesnt cover that,I was also thinking about private school because where we live at the schools are reaaly getting out of control and I dont' feel safe for her.
Expert:  Dan replied 8 years ago.


Sorry about the delay - I was out for the weekend.

You have a better possibility of getting the private school costs covered than you do the medical costs. The reason is that education, which you would be required to provide, is available from the state (through public schools). So upgrading to private schooling would not be required out of a parent's duty to support their child. The upgrade, if that were deemed to be an advantage that would be a long term benefit to your daughter, is something that a court could approve the costs of.

(You'd have to sell the benefit to the court. SO do your homework on how that would be so much to her advantage that they would deem it important enough to allow her money to be applied toward that cost. Pretend the total cost was $10,000, they would have to decide that schooling at the price would be worth her having $10,000 less in her account when she reaches age 18. It would help if your daughter is old enough to testify as to her own desires in the matter.)

On the medical issues, the reason that I think it is unlikely is that you have a duty to provide support including medical care. The physical therapy and occupational therapy are part of her medical care. To get a court to allow it to be covered, you'd have to show that those treatments are over and above what you as a parent would have a duty to provide at your cost.

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