California residents may be shocked to hear that child care costs are rising, and that parents will pay over $240,000 to raise a baby to adulthood that was born last year. If their child chooses to go to college, that number can actually double. According to a study recently completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it has never been more expensive to raise a child, and the costs have risen 26 percent since 1960. The study is used to help calculate child support and foster care payments.
The study found that of the majority of money spent to rear a child, 30 percent was spent on housing. The second most costly expense for more affluent families was childcare; for less-wealthy families, it tends to be food and other necessities. In addition to issues of income, there are several other factors that may determine how much of a family’s income is spent on raising children, such as where they live and the size of the family. Families raising children in the urban Northeast and Western and Midwestern cities will face much higher costs for taking care of children compared to those who live in the urban South and in rural areas throughout the country.
Unsurprisingly, families with larger incomes will often spend larger amounts of money on their children. A family that makes approximately $60,000 a year will spend about $173,000 to feed, clothe and shelter a single child, but those with an income of over $105,000 will pay out nearly $400,000.
Because child care costs are rising, child support can make a huge difference in the quality of care a child receives. It is also important to remember, though, that an equitable deal is reached so that individuals can afford it. A lawyer could explain someone’s rights and what state laws say about child support in order for a divorcing couple to reach a fair agreement.
Source: LA Times, “Price tag for raising a baby until adulthood: $241,080“, Shan Li, August 29, 2013