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New report sheds light on child support issues in US

Many Omaha residents have heard the phrase "deadbeat parent" before and thought "why don't we have a more efficient system for child support, or at least bolstered punishments for those who cheat their ex-spouse and child out of much needed money?" The following story won't really answer those questions, nor will it make anyone feel any better about some of the flaws in the child support system.

According to federal data, only 62 percent of the $38 billion in owed child support payments were made in 2011. That means roughly $14 billion in child support payments were completely lost, leaving custodial parents in a tough situation. They may have to consider taking legal action in those situations, all the while their child may not get the supplies or necessities that he or she truly needs simply because one parent refuses to pay or can't pay.

The punitive measures that are applied to these deadbeat parents may sound tough, but there are ways around them. For example, a deadbeat parent could lose his or her driver's license, passport and even his or her wages -- which would be garnished to help cover the missed child support.

But every punishment has a weakness. The deadbeat parent could catch a ride with a friend to get around. The loss of passport may no really do anything to a deadbeat parent. And wage garnishment is only effective so long as the parent's paycheck is on the books. Cash payouts make wage garnishment nearly impossible.

Source: Highlands Today, "One-third of child support is uncollected Census Bureau: More than $14 billion owed to custodial parents," Gary Pinnell, Dec. 20, 2013

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