Gambling Winnings Can Be Withheld to Pay Child Support
With a new law passed in 2013, Illinois now joins several other states that require casino winnings to be withheld if the winner is behind in child support payments. In addition to casinos, winnings can also be garnished at racetracks and at riverboat gambling facilities to pay overdue child support payments.
With the requirement to collect from casinos and racetracks, gaming establishments are supposed to provide notice to potential winners that the establishments are required to withhold winnings until back child support is paid. Signs to this effect may be at the entrance and exits, the cashiers' cages if applicable, and at any credit points within the establishment. The winner can also be informed at the time the winnings are withheld.
How Much Can Be Withheld?
The withholding can equal the entire sum of the winnings if the money owed on child support is more than the winnings. However, any amount remaining after the withholding will be paid to the winner. If the winner wins more than is owed, he or she will still receive the balance of their winnings. Notwithstanding, the threshold amount the winner has to win in order for the law to take effect is $1,200.
In addition, the gambling establishment is authorized to take either 4 percent or $150 of the winnings, whichever is less, for administrative fees associated with complying with the law. The withheld funds are then paid to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services for distribution. The winner cannot be charged more than his winnings for the administrative fee, or for the back child support. That is, the winner may still owe child support after the withholding, but will not be charged by the gambling facility for this as a balance owed after the winnings are withheld.
Other Ways to Compel Payments
In addition to this law, Illinois Child Support Services has other ways in which they collect back child support from parents. These include:
• Intercepting federal and state income tax refunds and lottery winnings;
• Withholding money from unemployment insurance benefits;
• Reporting the non-payment to private collection agencies and credit reporting bureaus;
• Placing liens on real property;
• Freezing the bank accounts of a person owing payments;
• Seeking a suspension of an Illinois driver's license, and in some cases, denial of a passport; and
• Suspending some professional or occupational licenses.
Contact an Illinois Attorney
If you owe child support and are behind on your payments, contact the experienced Illinois family law attorneys at MKFM Law for a consultation. If you are behind on payments due to changed financial circumstances, depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to help you restructure your support payments so they are manageable.