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Child support payments factor into the cost of child-rearing

It's no surprise to Massachusetts parents that it's expensive to raise a child, but according to statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture, the cost is going up.

The study that was released recently indicated there was a 1.8 percent increase in the cost of child-rearing from the years 2012 to 2013. Thus, a child born in 2013 will cost on average $245,340 to feed, house, educate (not including college, of course) and cover childcare costs for. This is without factoring in any expenses of the pregnancy.

Essential expenses that weren't factored into the study included school supplies and any entertainment items or toys. As expenses were calculated on families with a single child, those families with multiple children would likely see discounts from sharing clothing and bedrooms between siblings, saving their parents some money.

The under secretary for the USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services said, "In today's economy, it's important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future." The report helps parents understand what to expect and prepare for, as well as be a critical resource for determining child support guidelines and even payments for foster parents.

The costs of child-rearing in Western Massachusetts are estimated at even higher than the national average and are approximated at $282,480. Costs are normally lower in other geographic locations like rural regions that average around $193,590, and the urban South, with estimated costs of $260,610.

When making the decision to divorce, the cost of child support and the upkeep of two residences need to be factored into the final decision of the parties. A family law attorney is a good source of information about the costs associated with a divorce.

Source: WGGB, "Raising a Child is Becoming Even MORE Expensive!" Lindsay Iadeluca, Aug. 18, 2014

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