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The true cost of child support may be higher than one thinks

When children are born, they change the lives of everyone closest to them. In particular, the parents assume a mantle of responsibility for which it may be difficult to prepare. It may only be at the point where households separate that the true financial cost of raising a child becomes apparent, as California parents confront issues about child support payments.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture compiles a report every year calculating the costs involved in raising one's child to the age of 17 from birth. According to the numbers provided for 2015, the overall amount is $233,610, equal to almost $14,000 per year. Not only are the USDA figures intended as a measure for those contemplating parenthood, they are also used to prepare guidelines for foster care and child support.

Some expenses may be less obvious, being largely absorbed by costs that one must consider in any event, such as housing and food. Upon separation, it may come as a shock to discover the amount that may be taken up with other costs relating to a child, especially if most of the responsibility of dealing with those things falls mainly to one parent. Extra-curricular activities, clothing and health care may be more expensive, or come around more frequently, than one may have realized.

While California is listed as one of the least expensive states in which to raise children, there are a number of factors that can affect how child support payments are calculated. The incomes of both parents, together with the lifestyle and needs of the child, will be taken into account. If one disagrees with the figures presented, whether because they are deemed unaffordable or inadequate, providing evidence to reinforce one's claim may prompt a reassessment that will be more satisfactory to both parties and also serve the best interest of the child.

Source: wgntv.com, "Parents, save up: Cost of raising a child is more than $233K", Jan. 10, 2017

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