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Lottery winnings could soon be taken to pay child support arrears

A bill was recently passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would allow the state to take lottery winnings from those who owe certain debts. According to a recent report, this applies to those parents who are behind on making their child support payments. While there are other enforcement options already in place, this will -- if passed -- just add to the options available for custodial parents to collect the money owed them.

House Bill 674, as it is known, now waits for senate approval. If this piece of legislation is ultimately signed into law, it will allow the state's Department of Revenue to intercept the lottery winnings of those who owe taxes, court-ordered restitution or child support. In order to do this, the lottery prize will have to be at least $2,500.

So, if this is approved, before payouts are issued to lottery winners, the DOR will have to review the individual's records for delinquent debts in order to determine if he or she will be issued all, part or none of the winnings. If any qualifying debts are found on a person's record, the money will then be directed toward paying that debt. In cases involving child support arrears, that means the money will likely be sent directly to the custodial parent.

This could be a great thing for those custodial parents who are struggling to meet their children's needs due to a lack of child support. It is unclear how long it will take for the Senate to make a decision on this matter. Until then, custodial parents in Pennsylvania do have other enforcement options at their disposal. An experienced family law attorney can help those who need assistance addressing their child support issues.

Source:, "House bill advances on seizing Pa lottery winnings to pay delinquent debt", April 24, 2017

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