Obviously, an early request of settlement funds from a blocked account only applies if the settlement funds are in the blocked account, and not a structured annuity. If your child's case has some or all of their money tied up in an annuity, you could not request an early withdrawal of those funds as those are bound by a contract with the insurance company (annuity).
If you have settlement funds that were placed into a blocked account in California, and you would like to withdrawal some or all of the funds for the minor child, you have to be aware of the following items:
1. First, Judges are hesitant to do this because the settlement funds are the child's settlement funds, so automatically the Judge's first instinct is to protect the child's settlement money;
2. The basis of the early withdrawal of settlement funds must be made to show how this will "directly benefit" the child, and nobody else; and,
3. Finally, why is the early withdrawal of funds request not being handled as the normal responsibility of being a parent?
The Challenges in Obtaining Blocked Settlement Funds
With the above in mind, you should already know that any request is highly scrutinized by the Judge. And, rightly so, because the purpose of a blocked account is just that, to keep the settlement funds blocked for the benefit of the child when he or she turns 18 years of age. The other hurdle is to show that the early release of funds will "directly benefit" the child and nobody else. For example, I have had parents call me up wanting to buy new furniture for the home or go on a family vacation. Those requests would fail because it does not solely benefit the child as it benefits others as well. Also, buying furniture fo the home or a family vacation is the normal responsibility of being a parent and needs to be covered under such responsibilities.
However, if the child would like to do a specialized activity like summer computer camp, or if he or she is older (17), and they need the funds to purchase a vehicle, well then that is different and a Judge is more inclined to grant the request. Keep in mind, any early release of settlement funds never goes into the control of the child, parent, or guardian ad litem. Rather, it goes directly to the entity that needs the funds. For example, it goes directly to the school for the summer computer camp, or the car dealership that is selling the car, etc. This further protects the child because it ensures the early release of settlement funds goes to where it is supposed to go to.
San Diego Child Injury Lawyer Here to Help
If you have further questions or concerns, and you would like to speak to me for free, you can call me direct at (619) 813-7955. I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction for your injury case. Stay strong, Attorney Mark Blane