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Win the lottery? Owe child support? Expect to lose some winnings

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Child Support |

Imagine what it would be like to win the North Dakota power ball lottery as a parent. You could buy your kids a massive home, send them to the most elite educational facilities and get them a brand-new car when they are old enough to drive.

Even though you may plan to use a sudden windfall to purchase items that make your children happy, your child support obligations must come first. Ultimately, kids need love, attention and regular financial support much more than they need expensive gifts.

Can child support services take lottery money?

Before you start to spend your winnings, look at your situation objectively. If a judge ordered you to pay child support and you fell behind, you can expect to lose a sizeable portion of your lottery winnings to cover your arrears. It is one of the many child support enforcement techniques used in Fargo and nearby cities. Other enforcement methods include:

  • Interception of state and federal tax refunds
  • Suspension of driver’s and professional licenses
  • Accrual of child support interest charges
  • Seizure of bank accounts
  • Denial or revocation of passports
  • Suspension of vehicle registrations
  • Contempt of court proceedings
  • Inclusion on the public-accessible Lien Registry website
  • Criminal prosecution (if you willfully fail to pay)

The enforcement techniques above can begin even if you are only $25 behind on child support payments.

The takeaway. Enjoy your windfall, but do not think you can use your money to address or change child support as you see fit. Once you catch up on your arrears, you or your co-parent can file a petition to increase your support order – a great way to use your windfall on behalf of your kids. It is also wise to learn more about North Dakota child support regulations and laws.

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