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A Child Support Perspective - $234,900 for 17 years.

Child Support is excessive or insufficient, depending upon whether you speak to the person paying it or the person receiving it. The cost of raising a child is often misunderstood and rarely quantified.  Rhode Island amended its Guidelines as of June 4, 2012; some of the support guidelines increased at certain income levels and some decreased.

The RI child support guidelines take into account the various costs, direct and indirect, to raise a child, not just food and clothing for one particulat child. Actuarial studies are used to consider those various items, plus housing costs, utilities, transportation, medical expenses and many other expenditures that families incur in ordinary life because they have one or more children. The guidelines do not include many extra-curricular expenses that parents may agree upon, such as camps, unusual tuition, school trips or schooling expenses, enrichment programs, proms, SAT courses, sports participation etc.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its annual report during early June 2012, calculating the cost of a host of necessities parents pay for in the 17 years before a child reaches the age of eighteen. The cost for a child born in 2011 to a middle income family is $234,900.  

· For households with annual income less than $59,410, the annual expenses per child range from $8,760 to $9,970 on average.

· For household with income of up to $102,870, the annual cost per child is about $12,290 to $14,320.

· For household with income over $102,870, the cost per child averages out at $20,420 to $24,510.

Housing was the biggest expense, followed by child care and education, food and transportation. Since the analysis began in 1960, food expenses have declined from 24% to 16%, while child care and education grew from 2% to 18% of income.

Steven J. Hirsch, Esq. can work with you to establish a child support order in a divorce action or can review a prior child support order to determine if a modification may be appropriate. by Eve Tahminicioglu

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