Powerball Winner’s Funds Used to Satisfy Thousands Owed in Child Support
In the spring of 2013, a New Jersey resident won the third-largest single cash amount ever awarded by the Powerball lottery. Soon thereafter, reports surfaced that the man owed $29,000 in child support, and he used part of his prize money to satisfy that debt. In fact, lottery interception and other methods can be used in New Jersey to enforce a child support order, to help ensure children receive the financial support they need.
New Jersey Powerball winner’s child support debt
In late March, 44-year-old Pedro Quezada won one of the largest Powerball prizes in history, according to the Associated Press. Shortly after he was identified as the lottery winner, law enforcement officials announced that Quezada also owed $29,000 in child support, dating back to 2009.
Spokesman Richard Berdnik of the Passaic County Sherriff’s Office said a warrant was out for Quezada, and he hoped he would resolve the matter soon, and certainly he did. On the first Monday in April, Quezada made a court appearance to use part of his $152 million after-tax winnings to satisfy his outstanding child support debt.
The AP reports that Bill Maer, spokesman for the New Jersey Lottery Division, said child support debts are usually satisfied before lottery funds are dispersed to the winner. Indeed, the state of New Jersey has several enforcement options to help children and custodial parents obtain child support payments.
New Jersey child support enforcement options
In New Jersey, the state uses a few methods to help ensure child support funds are received by custodial parents for their children. One of these methods is lottery interception, which may be used if the non-custodial parent wins at least $600 in the lottery and owes child support. In addition, the state may pursue income withholding or tax-refund offsets if the non-custodial parent is not making child support payments yet is earning an income or receiving a qualifying tax refund.
Further, a parent may be denied a government license such as a driver’s license or fishing license if he or she has not paid child support for six months or more. In some cases, the state may even prevent a parent from obtaining a passport if he or she owes $2,500 or more in child support.
If you are not receiving the child support that was ordered for your child, there are ways you can seek the funds your family needs, including making a court appearance. If you have questions about receiving child support or modifying a child support order, contact a family law attorney with experience in child support cases.