As this article from CNN Money shows, the cost of raising a child is rising rapidly. According to the article, the average across America is $241,080–quite the price tag when you consider that this figure does not even include the cost of college! This figure is also rising at rates that surpass the rates of increase for salaries, which is giving many people pause.
So how does this affect families in the middle of legal battles over custody? Typically, in many cases judges like for children to be able to keep the status quo as much as possible, even when their parents split up. Thus, judges many times order the parties to keep children in the same school (whether public or private) or day care facility that the child has been accustomed to in the past. But, as this report from CNN Money shows, that may be a more expensive proposition for families that split up. Since both parents will have added expenses after a divorce (e.g. whereas they had both shared costs of rent, utilities, and other costs, now they each have to pay separately for those same items), this places a burden on both sides financially. In such an instance, it can be difficult to maintain the former state of life to which the parents (and children) had become accustomed to–including, not incidentally, the private day care facilities or private schools that the children had been enrolled in prior to the separation. In such instances, it can be tricky for the parties to work out an agreement that is financially feasible for both parties, but still allows the children to stay in the schools and facilities where they have thrived.
If you have any questions about this issue, or any other Family Law matter, please give us a call at 214-236-2712.