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How much is the failure to pay child support costing America?

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Although some of our previous posts have mentioned the problems Maryland faces when it comes to failure to pay child support, it does not appear that the state is alone in this area. A recent CNN report revealed that over $100 billion is owed throughout the country in unpaid child support.

Interesting enough, the report emphasized that not only are billions in child support payments outstanding to parents, much of the outstanding balance is actually due in the form of reimbursements to governmental entities when children require public assistance. About 50 percent of the outstanding child support amount is due to parents, and 49 percent is due as reimbursements to the government.

The persisting problem of unpaid child support has drawn many opinions on how to approach the issue. Some believe that courts are setting child support orders at unrealistic levels, thus leaving the parent who is ordered to pay with next to nothing from their paychecks. Others believe that some parents with child support orders are actively shielding their incomes from the court and the other parent and seeking jobs in which they are paid in cash to avoid having their wages garnished.

Child support payments are often critical for custodial parents to receive. Many people rely on that money to pay for dentist visits, eyeglasses and groceries. Parents who are responsible for paying child support should not ignore court orders. Instead, seeking a modification may be the best solution for everyone involved. First seeking the advice of an experienced attorney is often wise.

Source: CNN Money, "Deadbeat parents cost taxpayers $53 billion," Steve Hargreaves, Nov. 5, 2012

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