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Study: It takes lots of financial support to raise a child

Divorce is already taxing mentally; however, it can be even more financially taxing. In homes with one child, the cost to raise him or her to the age of 17 years old will exceed $300,000 according to a recent study. This does not include any college costs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average yearly expense per child is slightly over $14,000 and the average middle income with two parents is no more than just over $102, 000. These numbers are slightly lower or higher depending on the income bracket the family falls into. This is the point of contention in many child support hearings.

These numbers are astronomical for a married couple in at least the middle income range and can be devastating for a single parent after divorce. Out of the more than a quarter-of- a-million-dollar estimate to raise one child to college age, the largest expense is housing. This can account for at least 30 percent of the cost. The other two big ones are of course childcare (accounts for around 18 percent) and nourishment (about 16 percent). For single parents without support, these figures can be higher.

There are also expenses for non-college education, healthcare, and transportation, which range from 8 percent to 14 percent of overall costs. Due to years of steady rising inflation since the 1960's, all costs associated with childrearing have skyrocketed. The difference is more than $100,000 dollars annually. Again, these figures do not cover any college expenses in the least.

For a child to be put through college, there is going to be a minimum of more than $28,000 dollars for each year he or she attends. However, this figure only covers tuition. If the child lives out of the parents' home, there could be housing costs over $10,000 yearly. If you are divorced and wondering how you can make it without child support, you are not alone. You shouldn't have to make it without the support from the other parent. You and your child have rights to more.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Cost to Raise a Child: Around $300,000, Not Including College," Phil Izzo, June 14, 2012

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