There are responsibilities and duties attached to managing a Court Funds Office account as the litigation friend of a child.
For example, the litigation friend would be responsible for updating the contact details and applying for payments if the child has money in a CFO account.
One of the roles of the Court Funds Office is holding money paid into it as part of court case settlements for children.
As a rule, the CFO would hold the money in a secure account until the child turns eighteen (18) years old.
Before they reach 18, the responsibilities of the litigation friend include managing the child's Court Funds Office account, such as:
Your responsibilities as litigation friend would end when the child reaches 18. Another section explains how to get your court funds money when you turn 18 years old.
As a rule, the Court Funds Office would transfer the money to the child at that point. The CFO would also close the account once the child has their 18th birthday.
Note: You can appoint someone else as a child's litigation friend if you have concerns about their conduct. You would need to apply to the same court that awarded the money to the child (details below).
The Court Funds Office can only transfer money to the child without delays if they have accurate and current contact details for them.
The litigation friend should write to the Court Funds Office to notify them of circumstantial changes, such as:
Court Funds Office
You should get annual statements and tax vouchers for tax returns around April each year as part of keeping your pay and tax records.
If there is at least £10,000 in the child's Court Funds Office account you also get another statement towards the end of October.
Note: You can send an email to the Court Funds Office to get a statement any time outside April and October.
You need to get an order from the court to access money in the Court Funds Office (CFO) account of the child.
Apply to the same court that awarded the money if you have a reason to access the child's money before they turn 18.
You must write to the court explaining why you need the money and how you will use to benefit the child. The court will reply and inform you whether you must:
A successful application would order the Court Funds Office to make a payment. As a rule, the court would need your bank account details (unless you make a request to get paid by cheque).
The main reason to apply to replace a child's litigation friend is to be the contact for the CFO account. You should make the application to the same court that appointed the existing litigation friend for the child. You would need the court to make an order to get the appointment.
So, part of the process is proving to the court that the existing litigation friend is no longer available or they lack suitability for the role, such as:
Note: There is a fee (around £155) to replace a child's litigation friend (unless you can get help with court fees).
There are four basic steps to replacing a child's litigation friend. But, you may prefer to get legal advice to help you apply.
Litigation Friend: Managing a Court Funds Office Account in United Kingdom