One of the largest areas of conflict in child support cases can be just how much it really costs to raise that child. What costs do parents need to cover? How much money really goes toward getting a child from the hospital to age 18? When parents do not agree on the costs, they may not agree on how much support each of them should provide.
The reality, though, is that many people vastly underestimate just what it costs to raise a child. One report put the total at more than $233,000.
That's just one child, and the report technically only looked at raising the child through the age of 17. At age 18, the child is legally an adult. However, as parents know, that doesn't necessarily cut all of the financial ties.
It is also worth noting that this average is for people who earn anywhere from $59,200 to $107,400 per year. For those who make less, the average naturally falls a bit. However, it is still a staggering $174,690 to get that child to age 18. For those who earn more than that upper threshold of $107,400 per year, the cost to raise the child also jumps to $372,210.
Exactly what it will cost you and your ex to raise your kids will, of course, vary depending on a lot of different factors, but this information gives you a realistic rough guide to that financial impact. Make sure you understand all of the rights and legal options you have while working through the court process to determine child support needs and obligations.