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$338 million lottery winner facing child support obligations

Many Alabama residents dream of someday hitting the lottery jackpot. Of course, for all but a select few, this is just a fantasy. For the lucky few, however, it can be life altering.

Take, for example, the man who recently won the $338 Powerball jackpot. The man opted for the lump sum payout, amounting to about $152 million after taxes. While the man is undoubtedly joyous after hearing the surprising news, he is also dealing with the fallout from child support issues.

It was revealed the lottery winner is wanted on charges of failure to pay child support, based on $29,000 in back payments. The charges caused authorities to issue an arrest warrant for the man in 2009. Now, based on the lottery winnings, it appears the back child support will be deducted from the man’s winnings.

While some may be surprised that gambling winnings may be considered income for purposes of child support, there are many different types of income that are considered under the child support guidelines.

Each state typically defines what constitutes gross income. Usually, income includes salary and wages, capital gains, and social security benefits. Veterans’ benefits, National Guard pay and military personnel fringe benefits are also included.

Ultimately, income is defined broadly to include any source of funds available to the parent. Once a person’s gross income is calculated, the amount of child support can then be determined under state guidelines.

Moreover, while it is usually apparent what a person’s income is, there may be other ways that a person’s income is revealed, that subjects that income to being deducted for child support. For example, in the case of the man above, the state checks gambling winnings over $600, and subjects those winnings to pay child support obligations.

Source: CNN, “Powerball winner wanted for child support,” Lorenzo Ferrigno, Mar. 29, 2013