Do childen have possessions? (Melin, yoo hoo!)

No, Im not asking about possessed children.

If folk’s get divorced, the dad gets custody and the kid (age 13-17) comes to get his stuff from his mothers’ house, do the folks have to give it to the kid? If yes, wouldn’t that mean the kid could take anything & everything he wanted?

Geez, handy, that’s a good question I never thought of before. In a nutshell – I don’t know. Let’s try to analyze this a bit.

Kids have ownership rights, of course, and their parents can be liable for infringing those rights just like anybody else. If Grandma and Grandpa leave Johnny a million dollars in a trust fund, and Mom and Dad embezzle it, you can bet that they are going to have to face the consequences of that.

But the books and the records and the teddy bears, etc.? Hmm. Well, I suppose that to the extent they are gifts, they belong to the child. To the extent that we are talking about the household furniture (beds, dressers, desk) used by the kid, I would think that that belongs to the parents, and would have been included with the household furniture in any property settlement.

Now, parents have legal rights to control property that belongs to their children (with some exceptions not relevant here). Presumably the custodial parent can exercise that right on behalf of the child.

The bottom line is that the best guess off the top of my head is that anything that was a gift to the child, or which constitutes the child’s “personal effects,” goes with the kid. Anything that is part of the household furnishings, or household effects, stays with the household.

If this is a real life issue, and not a hypothetical, please check with a local lawyer, who can be made aware of all the facts and can do some research to determine whether there’s any applicable law to help sort out a solution here.