PIERRE, S.D. — Federal figures show the amount of unpaid child support grew by more than $40 million in South Dakota in recent years.

Unpaid child support rose from about $147 million in 2012 to just over $191 million in 2016. An analysis by the Argus Leader says that’s the largest increase in the nation during that time frame.

Family law attorney Chris McClure previously worked for the Department of Social Services. McClure says there are two big reasons why arrearages have grown so significantly. He says South Dakota was slow to join other states in reducing minimum child support payments from parents who are unemployed or in jail.

Also, McClure say a boost in the minimum wage in South Dakota drove up the minimum child support required of non-custodial parents.

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