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Illinois gambling winnings may be taken to pay child support

Illinois gambling winnings may be taken to pay child support

Custodial parents who are seeking to collect child support from a former partner now have an additional means of obtaining past-due amounts. On Aug. 12, Illinois governor Pat Quinn approved House Bill 2843, which requires race tracks and casinos to garnish gambling winnings from parents who owe past-due child support. The governor signed the legislation without comment, and it became effective immediately.

The bill is designed to reduce the estimated $3 billion of unpaid child support owed in the state. This law is the latest in a series of measures designed to help the state collect unpaid child support on behalf of custodial parents. Prior laws allow the state to deny professional licenses to those who are behind on child support payments, as well as denying fishing or hunting licenses and revoking driver's licenses. Supporters of the law estimate that the state may be able to collect up to $1 million within a year of the bill's passage.

The new law requires all gambling establishments located within the state to post notices alerting patrons that if they're behind in child support payments, their winnings may be withheld. The establishments will have access to a database of "deadbeat" parents. If a parent is listed, any gambling proceeds will be given to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

A family law attorney may be able to help parents to obtain or enforce child support orders. It may be possible to garnish a non-paying parent's wages, seize a tax return, seize gambling winnings or have a driver's license suspended. An attorney may also be able to have a non-paying parent held in contempt of court.

Source: Herald Review, "Law authorizes garnishment of gambling winnings for deadbeat parents", Kurt Erickson, August 13, 2013

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