The court has a strong interest in protecting a child's interests. To that end, generally, once the parties reach a settlement agreement, the court will hold a Minor Settlement hearing to review and approve minor settlements. In addition, the court will also usually appoint a conservator to handle the child's funds to ensure that the money will not be used inappropriately by a parent.
In Missouri, if a minor settlement is not approved by the court it will not be enforceable because it will be considered against public policy. A parent or other natural guardian cannot enter into a binding minor settlement; the court will appoint a guardian ad litem.
A court is not permitted to rely on a parent's consent to settlement but must find that the settlement is in the minor's best interest. Instead, the court must determine whether the agreement is in the minor's best interests."
A minor will not be bound by a settlement unless a court has approved the settlement.
Missouri and Kansas both mandate that settlements on behalf of minors are court approved. Although some insurance companies will try to get around this requirement, it is sound public policy to have a judge protect children. Attorneys should be aware of these requirements so that their clients do not have to incur significant bills when the validity of a minor settlement is challenged because it was not approved by the court.
Missouri and Kansas child injuries are different. We know the complications involved in child injury cases, and we can help.
If your child has been injured due to someone else's negligence, we can help. Don't hesitate to contact Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys.