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New law requires casinos, tracks to garnish for child support

The state of Illinois has specific guidelines for how much noncustodial parents should pay in child support. Those guidelines may not apply, though, if two parents have joint physical custody of a child. To see how child support guidelines work in Illinois, parents can visit our Wheaton child support site.

As for enforcing child support orders, Governor Pat Quinn signed a law this week that requires gambling establishments such as race tracks and casinos to garnish the winnings of parents who are behind on child support. Unpaid child support in the state currently amounts to about $3 billion, and the new law is meant to whittle down the backlog.

When the tracks and casinos garnish the winnings, the money will be distributed to custodial parents by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Gambling establishments will have access to a database of parents who owe, and the new law requires that signs be posted indicating that if parents are behind on support, then payments will be taken from any winnings.

The legislator who sponsored the bill estimated that it could lead to $1 million in collected support in the first year.

Already, Illinois parents who owe back child support can run into problems with their driving privileges, as well as professional and gaming licenses.

Parents who are owed back support may want to speak with an attorney about enforcing the court order. Similarly, a child support modification might be possible if a noncustodial parent can't make the current payments. In either case, parents often have to take legal action to ensure the well-being of their children.

Source:, "Law authorizes garnishment of gambling winnings for deadbeat parents," Kurt Erickson, Aug. 13, 2013

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