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More expensive than ever to raise a child

Georgia residents may be interested in a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that says that it's more expensive than ever to raise a child. According to the report, it will cost parents $241,080 to raise a baby born in 2012. The cost rose 2.6 percent from 2011 and has gone up nearly 26 percent since 1960. The study is used by government agencies and courts to determine foster care costs and child support payments.

The most expensive component of child-raising was housing, according to the report. The second most expensive piece depended on the income of the family in question. Higher-earning families spent more on childcare, while lower-earning families spent more money on necessities like food. The total cost of raising a child also depended on family income. Families who earned less than $60,640 will likely spend about $173,490 to raise a child. Families that earn more than $105,000 should plan on spending $399,780 per child.

Besides family income, other determinants of child-raising costs include family size and where the family lives. Georgia residents may be pleased to learn that the South ranked as one of the least-expensive places in the country to raise a child, while the Midwest and cities in the Northeast were far more pricey.

Raising a child has always been an expensive proposition, which is why child custody and child support proceedings can often become tense and emotionally charged. Often, both sides of a child support arrangement may feel that the amount is unfair. The recipient may feel that it is insufficient while the payer may feel that it is excessive. An attorney with child custody and child support experience could help a parent present their case in court to settle on the most appropriate custody and support plan.

Source: LA Times, "Price tag for raising a baby until adulthood: $241,080", Shan Li, August 29, 2013

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