Dear David H:
Wow! What a situation. Not the worst I have heard, but pretty bad for your caring mother. It is important to note that some of his large settlement is likely marital and belongs to your mother. She may be able to file a restraining order so that he cannot touch the money until the court determines how much of the settlement she is entitled to. I hear that you say that she does not have funds for an attorney, but with a large settlement potential, she should be advised by an attorney to determine how much of this settlement she can get. Once she knows how much she is entitled to, she may determine that it is a good investment to place her attorney fees on a credit card, borrow the money from family, or finance it another way. She deserves more, and although it may be some time before she can obtain the funds, I believe that she is entitled to them and it would be worth while for her to speak with an attorney soon. Best of luck.
Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.