Speak Up! - View Question #17396
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Question: While I was still a minor I had a joint account with my parents. Before I turned 18 my mom closed the account and took all the money out of it, this being my college fund. They are now going through a divorce and the money is just gone (she is claiming that she put it into cd's and now its gone). Is there any way to get the money back from her now that I need it for school?
It will depend a lot on where the money came from. If it was a gift given directly to you for college and you can prove this, you may be able to sue your mother for these funds. If the account was a trust account, then you may be able to sue her as the trustee of property that belonged to you. However, if she can prove that the funds were used for your support, e.g. for food, clothing, housing, medical care, etc. that your parents would not otherwise be able to afford for you, then the money probably cannot be recovered.
If the money was not a gift to you, but was simply family money that was put in the account to save it in the hopes that it could be used for college, then you probably cannot recover it.
Even if you were to get a judgment against your mother, if she has no money or property, there might not be any way to collect the judgment.