When I was around 15 my dad and I opened up a savings account at Regions bank. Ever since then I've been working and only putting my money in this account. The situation at my house is causing me to try to move out.

My dad told me once that I'm not allowed to take out any money unless it was authorized by him. I'm 18 now, and was wondering if what he said was actually true?

I called the bank and they said my name is not under the account, so I know my dads the beneficiary of that account.

Is there any way to get my money out? If so how much at one time? Or did my parents screws me over when they made this account? I really need to know as this money will help me move out faster and more efficiently. Is this account even mine?

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    country is needed Jul 29, 2015 at 14:29
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    "Regions" is a US Bank [Regions Financial Corporation]
    – Dheer
    Jul 29, 2015 at 15:08
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    You should verify what kind of account it was. Was it solely a savings account in your dad's name? Or was it a Uniform Transfer/Gift to Minors account (UTMA/UGMA)? Or something else?
    – Joe
    Jul 29, 2015 at 16:30
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    Is 18/adult a US thing? I guess that didn't strike me as a hint. Jul 29, 2015 at 16:53
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    First, get your own account. As for getting the money out of this one, no matter the actual law, things will work a lot better if you can use diplomacy to get the money. What's your Dad's goal here? Jul 29, 2015 at 22:20

2 Answers 2


I would not concede your money to your dad IF he is really wronging you - and we need much more detail to tell. This is the first lesson in life that actually following up on "wrong" things will save you thousands of dollars throughout your adulthood. It is really easy to turn the other way and be out a few thousand dollars. Then the hospital overbills you and you let it go and so on. Follow up, it is your money.

The laws behind this are pretty cut and dry. Basically if you put money into one account and only your money was touching the account then it is your money. As a minor this is an expectation and once your turn 18 in the US you have a right to your money. That is given that the money was in the account at 18.

So if your dad truly did not touch the account and withdraw the money before you turned 18, it is cut and dry. If your dad took money out before 18 or added his own money to the account it gets rather fuzzy since it is easy for dad to say that I took money out for your expenses.

As for this being "nuclear" as keshlam suggests - he is right. His advice is fine but sets you up for people taking advantage of your throughout your life, especially your family. In fact the situation is already nuclear but you were the only thing the bomb hit.

So talk to your dad. Explain that you will have to go and file a small claims trial if he does not agree to give you the money. If your situation is already over the top I would bring the paperwork with you filled out. (a person at your local clerk's office will help you find the right forms)

You on the other hand better weigh this conversation. We "internet peoples" are only hearing one side of the story. We do not understand your situation at your home. We don't understand who pays for your car, gas, clothes, and room and board. You are 18, so there is no obligation for parents to pay for these things.

If I had an 18 year old that had 3K in the bank under my name and they hadn't helped around the house in a year, didn't buy their car, had a poor attitude, and so on I would probably have the same action as your dad. Yea it's "your money" but is it really? When I was 18 I bought ALL my clothes, bought my car, bought my gas/insurance, and so on. I paid for my toothpaste. If this is where you are at and you help out around the house like an adult would then you have solid ground to stand on.

If not... I would laugh if I were your dad. My first thought would be you want your money, that is fine. But you are paying rent. Car is gone, get your own. You would be paying for everything. But you would have "your money". So you have some pros and cons to weigh here and taking the money could cost you a TON of money in the future. However if your dad is just being a pure jerk (I kind of doubt this but who knows) then you have an obligation to fight for what is yours.

(Note that the end goal of any meeting like this in your life shouldn't be court. It should be an agreement so that the right action is taken and both parties are happy. It could be very well that your dad would be happy with something that has nothing to do with the money. Also there are people with really really bad situations at their homes. A controlling parent is a pretty good "bad" situation and an easy one to solve at 18 - move out. If you don't want to move out then accept your family members, not complain about them. No matter how controlling your dad is your question spews of ungrateful teenager. I am sure you aren't that bad and I am sure your dad isn't that bad.)

(And another note: In no way, shape, or form am I suggesting you drop the money issue. There is nothing worse than not talking about it even if you think your dad will kick you out of the house. Resentment building up in yourself or family is the worst possible thing. This needs to be dealt with.)

  • "The laws behind this are pretty cut and dry" Note that blankip is probably talking about the laws in the U.S. This may not be true in other countries. OP is probably in the U.S. and this is a good answer. Jul 29, 2015 at 18:58
  • We agree that we disagree about whether to fight this thru nos or wait until the father's ability to effectively retaliate no longer exists (nor do his excuses for not cooperating). I recommend going around the obstacle and picking up the money on the other side; you're recommending going thru it. I don't think either is going to be the optimal answer for all versions of this situation. The OP will have to puck their own approach, which may be neither of these.
    – keshlam
    Jul 30, 2015 at 1:19

If the account is really only in your father's name and not even "in trust" for you, then you can't touch it, I'm afraid. And taking your family to small-claims court is something of a nuclear option. Hiitting sympathetic family members for a loan may be the best course here;. Anything you do to try to force cooperation is likely to be a "nuclear option" as far as getting back on peaceable terms with your family goes.

If you must resort to that, i'd suggest asking whether the local department of youth services, or s religious figure or someone else your father respects, could persuade him to cooperate. He might be more willing to listen to someone else.

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    Mostly agree, except for the loan from family members. Don't bother. The money is probably lost, and while it seems like a big deal now it won't be in a few years. Take the lesson to heart, and move on.
    – Pete B.
    Jul 29, 2015 at 16:38
  • Loan from family: I was suggesting that to address current need, rather than counting on this account to repay it. And there's some chance of Dad conceding that Karrington's an adult and entitled to make his or her own mistakes, after another year or three.
    – keshlam
    Jul 29, 2015 at 16:59
  • Even in small claims court, he'll have to prove that he and his father opened the account for the boy and that only the boy has been depositing money.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:24
  • I recommend that he find a pro bono attorney. Whatever the resolution, it would be u-g-l-y.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:24

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