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Jackpot winnings to pay delinquent child support

Many Texas residents undoubtedly were disappointed to learn there was only one person holding the winning numbers for a huge Powerball jackpot in late March. That man won a staggering $338 million, which he has opted to take as a $211 million lump-sum payment, the third largest lump sum payment in Powerball history. However, the man won't see all of it. Uncle Sam will get a cut, of course, and the $152 million that remains after taxes will be subject to deduction for the man's unpaid child support obligations.

It turns out that the lucky winner, who owned and operated a deli and grocery up until his big win, has amassed almost $30,000 in back child support payments since 2009. His win has not gone unnoticed by child support authorities. Officials say the unpaid amounts will be withheld from the winnings and used to satisfy a judgment against the man for delinquent support. In the meantime, he remains subject to potential arrest.

This case illustrates one of the many enforcement mechanisms that are available to state child support agencies to collect past-due support payments. In Texas, one of the most common ways to collect child support is by requiring an employer to deduct it from the parent's paycheck. The Texas Child Support Division also may seize income tax refunds, file liens against the parent's property and suspend the parent's driver's, recreational or professional licenses. In some cases, a non-paying parent even may be sentenced to jail.

This means that if you are a custodial parent who is owed back child support, there are many ways to obtain relief, even if the other parent hasn't won the lottery. It may be beneficial to consult with a qualified family law attorney about your options.

Source: Yahoo! News, "Powerball jackpot winner owes $29,000 in child support - sheriff," Dave Warner, March 28, 2013

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