Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Effect of Powerball/Lotto Win on Child Support Obligations?



A recent Powerball winner may be about to find out that winning isn’t everything, after all.

According to news sources, Pedro Quezada, a resident of New Jersey, owes a judgment for unpaid child support in an approximate amount of $39,000.00.  Before the $338 million in lottery funds are released to him, it seems that the State of New Jersey will deduct the amounts owed for his child support obligations.  See http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/28/17504063-winner-of-338-million-powerball-jackpot-owes-29000-in-child-support?lite

And, in another twist of fate, Mr. Quezada’s winnings may trigger a financial review that could result in an increase to his current monthly child support obligations.  It wouldn’t be the first time – in 1995, a Chicago resident found his child support obligation increased and had the funds withheld from his lottery winnings. See http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-09-26/news/9509260083_1_lottery-ticket-illinois-state-lottery-lottery-windfall

In 1999, Amador Granados’ former spouse successfully sued for an increase in child support after he won the $11 million SuperLotto in California; she subsequently obtained a court order to seize his annual lottery payments when Mr. Granados defaulted on his child support obligations.  See http://articles.latimes.com/1999/apr/20/local/me-29209.

Lesson learned – income from gambling (including state-supported lotteries) is still income and will be included in the calculation of one’s resources when determining the amount of child support.  In Texas, it’s the law: See Texas Administrative Code Rule § 401.319 - http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=16&pt=9&ch=401&rl=319. 

By:      Cynthia W. Veidt