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Parents Can Be Fined up to VND1m for Taking Children's Lucky Money

Recent information regarding the legality of parents taking their children’s lucky money has received attention in local media.

One of the earliest reports to emerge online is from ThuKyLuat in the form of a law analysis article, published in December. The information was then picked up by To Quoc, an online portal belonging to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and other local media such as Thanh Nien. The article by Thanh Nien, which was published on January 7, emphasizes how parents might be fined from VND500,000 to VND1 million for taking their children’s lucky money.

The news source cites a 2013 decree on the Sanction of Administrative Violation In Social Security, Order and Safety, Prevention and Fighting of Social Evils, Fire and Domestic Violence.

According to this decree, taking a family member’s private property constitutes a form of financial violence, and hence the violator will be fined VND500,000 to VND1 million. Under the Law on Marriage and Family, lucky money is a form of private property if the child is over 15 years old, Thanh Nien mentioned. However, keeping children’s lucky money is still allowed when an agreement is reached between parents and the child.

In a follow-up report by Thanh Nien, some parents expressed concerns over the information, lamenting that such a penalty makes the familial relationship feel transactional and that in most cases, parents keep their children's lucky money due to the fact that the child is too young.

Also interviewed by Thanh Nien, Luu Duc Quang, a lecturer at the University of Economics and Law, pointed out that the Law on Marriage and Family doesn't specify which types of property children from 15 to 18 years old get to keep, and doesn't take into account that from a cultural aspect, lucky money given to the child is actually intended for the adults as a form of covert compensation for previous conflicts. 

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