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Family law in Canada: Managing assets for minor children

It's hard to imagine a parent stealing either money or property from his or her children, but it does happen. Family law rules are in place in Canada to protect children and sometimes that even means from their parents. A child could be named in a will as a beneficiary, and it is incumbent upon the parents or guardians to safeguard any assets that belong to their children or wards. 

There are no criminal laws in place that speak to this issue, though there is a section in the Criminal Code of Canada that speaks to theft and provincial legislation in place that says parents or guardians should act in the best interests of children when it comes to managing their assets, which could include property. The value noted for property in most areas is $10,000, when it is permissible for a parent or guardian to assume responsibility for the assets. If the property exceeds that amount, an application must be made to the court to become the guardian of any property that belongs to a minor child.

No matter what value of the assets, the law requires a parent or guardian to act prudently when looking after the financial interests of children. If a parent or guardian uses any funds belonging to a minor child for his or her own personal use, children do have some recourse. The parent or guardian could be charged criminally or sued civilly for misappropriation of funds that aren't his or hers. 

Family law in Canada always strives to put the best interests of children first. A lawyer may be able to act on behalf of a minor child who has been taken to the cleaners by his or her parents or guardians. The law in these instances is very specific, and a lawyer may be able to explain the legalities in a way that is easily understood. 

 

Source: findlaw.ca, "What can children do if parents mismanage or steal their property?", Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on Feb. 20, 2018

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