The courts has been very clear on this topic, and have held that a child’s bank account is their own, and is not considered a marital asset in the divorce. If the child is under 18, they may not be able to access it right away, but it certainly is not up for grabs in a divorce settlement.

If the money was put in the account as gift, or if the account was set up as a Uniform Gift/Transfer to Minor, the money in the account is the minor, and is considered a gift. Again, a court can assign a parent to control the account, but this by no means entitles them to the money. For clarity’s sake, if the account is title in the name of the children only, than the funds cannot be divided in a divorce.

The way the court views this is quite simple; “if a legal title to a particular asset is held by a third party (in this case the child), the law of equitable distribution does not permit the asset to be divided”.

If the bank account is set up for the child’s future education, the court previously would allow a division, however that is no longer happening, and in fact those decisions are now in the process of being reversed. It is clear that property, which has been given to the children, is no longer subject to division within a divorce case.

With regard to the previously mentioned situation, educational accounts being owned by the children is still being argued about in court, and is usually an issue based on facts. Depending on how that account has actually been used, e.g. not for education, the court may have a different finding.