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Parents' Casino Winnings Put Towards Overdue Child Support

When a couple is considering separation or divorce, they also have to consider the implications for their children. When a couple divorces, they have to come up with a child support plan that fits their particular situation, whatever that may be.

In some cases, one parent will provide child support to the other parent who is the primary custodial parent. The primary custodial parent is responsible for the everyday needs of the children, like food, clothing and school supplies. But what happens when a parent fails to pay child support?

To address the issue of overdue child support, one state enforces a law that requires casinos and racetracks to check whether big money winners are neglecting to pay child support. Most states already have a law in place that requires lottery winners to undergo the same check.

This particular state has seen an increase in the number of children who grow up in poverty. Though more than a million dollars have been redirected from gaming winnings to child support payments, that amount has only made a small dent in the total amount of overdue child support, a number in the billions.

Casino owners had been against the law initially out of fear that their business would suffer. But two years after the law was enacted, there has been little negative backlash. There were no reports of any altercations at casinos or racetracks in regards to garnishing winnings for child support payments.

Ultimately, child support is determined in the best interests of the child. This state has almost 500 gaming winners that have had part or all of their winnings go towards child support in the two years that the law has existed. It is unclear whether other states will adapt the same practice.

Source: Denver Post online, "Deadbeat parents' luck pays off for kids," Karen Auge, 23 December 2010

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