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Effects of lottery winnings on child support orders

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Blog |

Guidelines issued by the state of Florida determine the amounts of child support that parents owe to custodial parents. Their income and various expenses factor into the calculation to arrive at an amount that a parent could conceivably manage to pay. Sizable lottery winnings have the potential to alter this formula. Smaller prizes may not have a meaningful impact on income, but all lottery winnings are subject to seizure should someone owe unpaid child support.

Modification of child support

The government views lottery winnings as taxable income. The federal government generally deducts income taxes prior to paying a winner. Should you win a large jackpot, your new income may justify a recalculation of your child support order. If you received a substantial amount, you might choose to investigate how family law could apply to your new income.

Seizure of unpaid child support

Some parents, due to a variety of circumstances, run into trouble paying their child support. The state tracks unpaid child support, and Florida law clearly authorizes the redirection of lottery winnings above $600 to your children if you are in arrears. State agencies investigate a winner for any outstanding debts, like unpaid taxes, child support or court judgments. You can expect an automatic deduction of what you owe.

Winnings when no back child support is owed

A custodial parent who receives child support may have to take action to modify the existing order should the other parent win a large lottery prize. If the winner has no unpaid child support on record, the payment will go through to the recipient unhindered. The state does not take any automatic action regarding child support if nothing is overdue. In that situation, you would have to petition a court to recalculate the support order based on new income information.

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