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Deadbeat Parents Owe Taxpayers $53 Billion

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Parents who skip out on child support payments are not only costing their families, but taxpayers, too. Of the estimated $108 billion in child support owed by parents in 2009, half of that is owed in back payments to the government for public assistance--or about $53 billion, CNN Money reports.

The loss of child support payments is a significant contributing factor to why so many single parent households are in poverty: 41% of households led by single mothers are poor, and 82% of parents with primary custody are women. Since child support payments account for 45% of an impoverished single mother's income, it's easy to see how the absence of payments can be financially crippling. 

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Although the government can get offenders to pay up by garnishing wages or tax refunds, some parents skip out on payments by getting work off the books, and claiming a low income in court. But child support payments, which take 17% of income per child, can be difficult for parents genuinely struggling with unemployment to make.

How do you think parents should be made to pay child support? Is the current system fair? Tell us in the comments.

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