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Hitting the jackpot: Illinois considers new child support enforcement tool

In the rush of joy that comes with the birth of a child, some new parents feel like they've hit the jackpot. On a deep level, they certainly have. After all, there is something indescribably wonderful about a new life coming into the world.

With the weight of the world being what it is, however, sometimes things don't always work out for the couple that had the child. In Lake County and across the country, many couples get divorced after having children. Unmarried couples, who may have been cohabitating, often split up as well.

With each of these scenarios, child support will be in order. But what enforcement mechanisms does the custodial parent have if the parent who has child support obligations falls behind in paying that support?

Keep in mind that government agencies often assist parents in pursuing the support they are owed. In extreme cases, the threat of jail is there to motivate parents who haven't paid their support.

In Illinois, parents who are seeking to collect child support may soon have a new tool: withholding of money won in legal gambling parlors. State Sen. Darin LaHood is sponsoring legislation that would allow gambling venues to withhold money won by people who are behind on their child support payments.

The state of Illinois already has a database of parents who are in arrears on child support payments. The bill offered by state Sen. LaHood would enable casinos and race tracks to find matches between names on that list and the tax forms that gamblers have to fill out in order to obtain their winnings.

Source: "Bill secures jackpots of deadbeat parents," Peoria Star, Chris Kaergard, 3-26-13

Please visit our page on child support enforcement.

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