When welcoming a child into their family, most parents are not thinking of the high cost of raising a child. Feelings of love, joy and hope for the family’s future tend to take hold at such key times, overriding prosaic (but still important) concerns about money.
The sticker shock involved in considering that cost, however, can be considerable. According to the most recent estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child to age 18 is around $240,000.
That is obviously a lot of money. And so, when parents get divorced, this is where the issue of child support comes in. As we discussed in our recent article on child support in Illinois, there are many things about child support awards that divorcing parents should know.
For example, many people have heard that there are guidelines based on parenting time and net income that are used in calculating a child support award. Though that is true, it is important to realize that child support is not a given. The family court judge must first make a determination that a child support award is appropriate.
Understandably, the guidelines call for a non-custodial parent to pay a higher percentage of his or her income when there are more children support. The percentage rises from 20 percent for one child up to 50 percent (the maximum) for six or more kids.
We encourage you to read our article for more details like this about child support in Illinois. Whether you are dealing with sticker shock or not, it will help you to be more informed about where you stand.