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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

Man found guilty of defrauding Medicaid of $2 million

On April 27, a 57-year-old Ohio man was found guilty of health care fraud and several other charges related to a Medicaid billing scheme. According to prosecutors, the man received around $2 million in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid. Billing for X-rays that...

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Medical debt is the No. 1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. An abrupt illness can lead to excessive medical bills that are even difficult to pay for people who have full-time jobs and health insurance. The medical debt factor has been on the minds of many people...

Understanding the Ohio probate process

It's a good idea to take the time to draw up a will if you haven't already. This document lets you leave money and assets to your family, friends and selected charities. If you don't leave a will, your estate may be subject to laws that determine how your estate is...

Signs a divorce may be right for you

Nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it may be right for some couples. Even though 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many more couples turn a blind eye to the signs they divorce may be the best option for themselves....

What should you do after a car crash in Ohio?

Being in a car accident can leave you confused and not knowing what to do next. However, it is important to know what steps to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being decisive after a car accident can also help you get compensated for...

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