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Lottery winners may find child support obligations waiting

Texas and many other states participate in Powerball lotteries, giant pools that pay off millions of dollars to a single winner. While winning a pot this large may be everyone's dream, those who owe unpaid child support may find that winning this kind of money brings attention from family law advocates and child support enforcement agencies. This is what happened to one New Jersey man who recently won the Powerball jackpot for more than $300 million.

The $338 million jackpot, which will pay the winner $221 million in a lump sum payment, would seem to be every lottery player's dream come true. However, the man quickly discovered that New Jersey law enforcement agencies were paying attention when they announced that they intended to seek $29,000 in unpaid child support immediately. It remains to be seen if the man will be forced to pay out more of his winnings if the custodial parent decides to take action.

In most states, custodial parents who are receiving child support have the right to petition the court for a re-evaluation of the obligation if the paying parent has a substantial improvement in financial circumstances. Non-custodial parents also have the right to petition for a hearing if they suffer a substantial reversal in income or assets. These rights protect both the parent who pays the child support and the one who receives it.

However, in the case of a parent who owes unpaid child support, the courts may not be lenient, especially if it is shown that the parent has the means to pay. Partners who are attempting to collect child support may benefit from consulting a personal injury attorney who may be able to help them recover the unpaid sums.

Source: Web Pro News, "Powerball winner owes $29K in child support," Chris Crum, March 28, 2013

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