As a married couple, you knew that raising a child was expensive, but you sort of just took those expenses in stride. You tried to find ways to deal with bills and increased costs. You budgeted, but you didn't think about the overall cost that often.
Now that you're getting married and the question of child support has been raised, you're really looking at it in a new way. How much support is needed? How much will it really cost to raise that child?
There is some difference in cost depending on your income level and standard of living, but reports show that middle-income families in recent years need to pay around $233,610 to raise one child. If that figure surprises you, it just underscores how important it is to think about child support.
It's only getting more expensive. The study found that the total increased a full 3 percent in one year. That may not sound like a lot, but it adds up when it happens every year.
On top of that, the report only looks at raising children until they turn 18. While they are technically adults at that point, parents know that costs sometimes continue. This is especially true if the children are still seniors in high school at this time.
The top two costs in the report were housing (29 percent) and food (18 percent). Naturally, these costs vary dramatically from one family to the next, but the report shows you where your money tends to go most often.
You can see just how important it is to figure out your child support situation, so make sure you know what legal steps to take.