They’re commonly called “deadbeats” — people who refuse to support their families after courts order them to pay — and CBC News has learned they owe more than $3.7 billion across the country for support orders.

Nearly two-thirds of all support orders in Canada are in arrears.

In Ontario, that number jumps to 80 per cent, although the provincial government says it has replaced an outdated computer system, and officials have collected more than $6.9 billion in support payments since 2003.

Experts and recipients say there aren’t enough staff to do an adequate job of monitoring the nearly half a million open files across the country.

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