St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Kids Sue Dad for Using their Money for Bills

kids sue parentsOne Michigan man is in hot water after the Michigan Court of Appeals decided that he can be sued for conversion as a result of using money from his children’s trust account for bills. Here’s the basic explanation of the situation: The defendant had three children and was the custodian of accounts established in their names. When the defendant divorced his wife he became financially unstable, using money from the trust accounts to cover medical bills and legal bills belonging exclusively to him.

When the children, who are no longer minors, realized what had happened, they sued the defendant for conversion. A grand total of more than $20,000 was removed from the accounts. When the courts found that the defendant had taken the money improperly, he appealed under the pretense that he had an obligation to pay the children’s medical expenses. Unfortunately for the defendant, the courts determined that those medical bills were “in addition to” the expenditures of custodial property and thus not a valid reason for removing the funds. A Michigan criminal attorney looking over the case would be hard pressed to disagree.

The appeals court established that the plaintiffs did not need to make a demand of the return of the money, as it was intentionally withdrawn and used rather than withheld by the defendant. There’s no need to demand the return of money that isn’t being withheld.

Sorting out the complexities of trusts and financial obligations is tough work. Even a parent that thinks he’s doing everything right could be making major mistakes along the way. Working with an experienced criminal attorney in Michigan is one of the best ways to handle those mistakes and to get your future moving in the right direction. For more information or inquiries about legal matters such as described above please call The Law Office of Attorney Peter J. Johnson at 269.982.1100 or visit for more information.

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