Recently, a true rags-to-riches story was made public when a 44-year-old man won New Jersey's largest jackpot Powerball win of $338 million. After taxes the man will bank $152 million. This would be an extremely life changing win for anybody, but considering this man owed over $29,000 in unpaid child support, this win was especially life changing for him and for his children.
According to the NY Daily News, the winner came to the United States in 1980 from the Dominican city of Jarabocoa. In the U.S. he had five children, whose ages range from five to 23. For work, he owns and runs a bodega.
How winning the lottery could impact child support
The $29,000 of unpaid child support has accumulated since 2009. Making sure children are cared for seems to be one of the biggest goals of states. Because of this, the $29,000 will be taken from his winnings before he sees any of the money. Along with that, nine percent of the interest that has accumulated on what is owed will also be deducted.
Even though the man is now worth much more than he was worth when the original child support amount was calculated, his past-due child support payments cannot increase to what the payments may be if the amount gets recalculated. However, the amount paid in child support is very likely to be recalculated for future payments.
In New Jersey, child support payments usually end once the child reaches age 18. However, the oldest child, now 23, could collect the delinquent back payment if the mother opens a claim on the child's behalf.
Overview of federal and Colorado child support laws
For the most part, child support is guided and regulated at the state level. However, the federal Child Support Enforcement Act creates some criteria for states to follow. Outlined on FindLaw.com, the minimum criteria taken in to consideration when calculating child support as established by this Act is as follows:
- The financial needs of the child, such as day care, education, insurance or any other special needs
- The income of the parent who has custody of the child
- The income of the parent who is to pay child support
- The ability to pay child support by the parent who is to pay
- The standard of living that the child has become accustomed to before the separation
In Colorado, the abovementioned factors are each considered, but because Colorado determines child support based on the Income Shares model, the gross income of both parents is what is considered most. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Income Shares model aims to award children the same proportion of their parents' income that they would likely have received if their parents had not separated. Child support in Colorado terminates once the child reaches age 18 or when the child graduates from high school.
Someone who is questioning the amount of child support being paid or who has questions about child support could benefit from consulting with a skilled child support attorney.