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Ohio may begin garnishing casino winnings to pay child support

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Parents who have fallen behind on payments could have winnings seized if bill passes

A provision in the off-year state budget would allow gambling winnings to be seized from people who have fallen behind on child support payments, according to the Columbus Dispatch. House Bill 483 was passed by the House last month and is now under consideration by the Senate.

Winnings could be withheld

Section 3123.89 of the budget bill specifies that a person who is in arrears and has defaulted on child support payments can have his winnings withheld in order to pay the outstanding debt. The amount of child support that is owed would be deducted from the winnings, meaning that if the winnings are smaller than what is owed then the person would likely see his entire jackpot handed over to Family Services.

The bill would only affect larger winnings that must already be declared to the Internal Revenue Service on form W-2G for federal tax purposes. In effect, that means that any winnings that exceed $1,200 at slot machines, $5,000 at poker tournaments, or $600 on a $2 bet at a race track would be subject to child support payments.

Data-match program

The bill calls for the Department of Job and Family Services to develop a data-match program to help casinos and racinos identify winners who are behind on support payments. The bill places the responsibility on the casino operator to withhold the winnings from a payee if the data-match program identifies that payee as being in child support arrears.

If passed, the bill would bring Ohio in line with other states that already collect gambling winnings to help pay down child support arrearages. Officials estimate that the proposed law could see child support collections from casino and racino winnings exceed $1 million in one year alone. Last year, Ohio collected $250,000 from lottery winnings for court-ordered child support payments. A total of $1.3 billion dollars in court-ordered child support was collected, or 68 percent of all court-ordered child support payments that were due.

The state is hoping to collect 70 percent of child support by September 2015 and the gambling winnings are considered a key step towards that goal.

Child support payments

As the above story shows, child support payments in Ohio are taken extremely seriously. Because falling behind on child support can lead to severe legal and financial problems, it is important to make sure that a child support payment plan accurately reflects a parent’s financial position.

Similarly, parents who rely on child support payments in order to give their children a comfortable quality of life will want to make sure that such payment plans are enforced. Any parent who is concerned about child support and wants an existing plan modified or enforced should consult with a qualified family law attorney. With experienced legal representation, parents will have a better chance of agreeing on a child support plan that fits with their budgets and expectations.

Amy M. Levine
View Profile

Our Latest Blog Posts

How to prepare financially for a divorce

Ohio is an equitable property division state, which means that you might be entitled to a majority share of a marital estate in a final divorce settlement. However, even if you are expecting to receive valuable assets as part of such a settlement, you'll still need to...

What to know about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test

Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives consumers in Columbus, Ohio, a legal way to remove burdening debt they can no longer handle. Only unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt, can get erased in bankruptcy. The secured debts, those that are backed by collateral,...

Contesting a Will During Probate in Ohio

When Ohio residents put together their wills and estates, they do everything in their power to make sure that they've covered all of their bases. They usually work with attorneys to make sure that their beneficiaries are clearly indicated, and they work on an asset...

7 steps to take after a car accident

In an instant, a car accident can change your life. You just could be on your way to work and a large SUV rams into the rear of your car. You could suffer serious injuries – broken bones, a traumatic brain injury and a back injury. Or a distracted driver could fail to...

What happens to a home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

It may be possible to keep your Ohio home after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, that will depend on how much equity that you have in the property. Furthermore, you'll need to remain current on your home loan to retain ownership of the property. Let's take a...

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