Powerball Winner’s Child Support Debt Debated Online

Last week’s Powerball winner’s child support debt was reported soon after the man, Pedro Quezada, was identified in the news — and while the nearly $30,000 shortfall will certainly be satisfied, the revelation sparked intense debate online.

Internet chatter was already contentious before the Powerball winner’s child support debate was revealed, and the news that the man described as “hard-working” by neighbors owed such a large amount made many skeptical. Is there any way someone can fall that far behind in child support and still be a person worthy of such good fortune?

The Powerball child support debate is interesting and certainly multi-faceted. On the web, it seemed two camps of people emerged to discuss it — those who had very little regard for someone who owed child support arrears, and those who had experienced setbacks after the Great Recession and fallen behind on child support payments.

Child support is a contentious issue and due to how couples tend to treat one another after a split, laws are harsh on non-custodial parents — which still doesn’t always translate to custodial parents getting a fair shake. One place where the Powerball winner’s child support failings was discussed was Fark, where users debated the issue with some real life examples of how someone could come to be in Quezada’s position through no fault of their own. (As well as some counterpoints as to how inexcusable it seems.)

In a thread titled “In today’s episode of “good things happen to bad people”, Powerball lotto winner who is getting $152 Million lump sum, after taxes, owes $29K in back child support,” users defended and lambasted Quezada in seemingly equal measures, with the first post out of the gate reading:

“Not everyone that owes back child support is a bad person subby … If you’ve never been on the receiving end of family court you really do not know what you are talking about.”

Another added:

“Ya know, it’s funny when someone immediately jumps to the conclusion that just because he’s a dude and owes child support that he must be a bad person … Either submitter is trolling or is a woman.”

One user challenged:

“Please describe a scenario in which a person avoids paying child support for years and is still a good person.”

Another joked:

“I’ve found that guys with 5 kids who owe several years of back child support and buy lottery tickets are generally pretty responsible, so lets not jump to conclusions. Spending $2 on a powerball ticket instead of a condom doesn’t make him bad, it makes him an American hero. BACK OFF.”

One non-custodial parent said:

“As someone who has owed as much as 10k in back child support, I can easily see how this person could be a good person and still owe back support. The mechanism for collecting child support are designed to favor the the custodial parent. So changing support is often cumbersome and expensive. Add on top of this the fact that changes in judgments do not always get communicated to the collecting operations or to the federal level where tax returns can be garnished. I have been through the mill on this several time in the state of illinois.”

And a second added:

“It’s not always that easy. I got behind by around 12k. See I was living in NJ while my case is in NC. I was very sick. So sick I needed a liver transplant. I could not work and I damn sure was in no shape to make the trip to NC. Not working meant I could not afford a lawyer to handle the case for me. The arrears just kept ticking up, up and away. The next time we went to court for an adjustment I had all the proof I needed to show I was a)incapable of working b)incapable of going to court for a reduction. None of that mattered.”

Do you think the Powerball winner’s child support debt is potentially understandable, or is it something for which there is no excuse?