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Winning lottery ticket in dispute in child support case

The vast majority of parents love their children and want what is in their best interests. Generally, from the moment a child is born, parents learn about sacrifice — of their time, money and sleep. In some cases, a parent who has fallen behind in child support faces enforcement action. The state of Florida has several options available to it concerning parents who have failed to make child support payments. A case in a neighboring state underscores the authority that the government has to collect delinquent payments.

In Oct. 2013, a man reportedly submitted a winning lottery ticket to state officials. The ticket was worth a $25,000 prize. After taxes, the man could have received $17,250. However, state officials quickly discovered that the man owed more than that in child support payments. As a result, officials from the state also claimed the prize to be applied toward the past due child support.

After the man learned that he may not receive any of the award, a different woman has come forward to claim that the prize is rightfully hers. The relationship between the man and the woman is unknown at this time. Officials for the lottery have requested a judge to determine who will receive the winnings.

When a Florida parent who has been ordered by the court to make child support payments experiences a substantial change in financial circumstances, it is imperative they he or she communicate this to the court and request a child support modification. While the loss of a job or significant illness can understandably affect a person’s economic situation, it is important to remember that the well-being of a child is at stake. The state may take drastic measures to obtain the payments owed, including wage garnishment and/or removal of certain types of license.

Source: The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, $25K Ga. lottery ticket disputed, money could go to child support, Marcus K. Garner, Jan. 23, 2014