The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Why child support may be less expensive than child raising costs

Although it is only the middle of September, anyone who has been in a mall or a grocery store can tell that Halloween in closer than you may think. It is a reminder that kids will want costumes, be invited to parties and all the things that come with fall festivals. Moreover, there will likely be school plays that kids will need costumes for, and before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us.

For parents who are relying upon court-ordered child support, this time of the year may be a precarious financial time and it is another example of why it takes an estimated $230,000 to $500,000 to raise a child in today’s dollars to age 18. 

For those who pay court-ordered child support, it may be annoying to be asked for additional financial help. Others may feel as if paying child support is some form of illegal spousal maintenance.

But consider this, the monthly basic child support payment, made over the course of a child’s life until age 18 is likely less that the numbers just quoted. This is because court-ordered support does not compensate for fees for extracurricular activities, holiday expenses or other choices that parents make during the course of a child’s life. More importantly, a court may not be willing to adjust a support obligation based on one parent’s desire to spend on activities.

So as the fall and winter holidays arrive, it is best to reach compromises on how money should be spent on piano lessons, gifts, travel expenses and the like. 

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