Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C.

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It is worth spending on kids during the holidays

Officially, the holiday season is still weeks away; but you may not realize it with some shopping malls and stores putting up decorations and lights even before Thanksgiving. But the reality is, Black Friday will come and shopping for Christmas will be here before you know it. For divorced and separated parents, this time of year can be difficult; especially for those who are paying child support.

Those receiving support may ask for additional support in paying for holiday presents for the child or help with costs that come with holiday plays or similar events. Naturally, those who are paying support may balk at this proposition, as they may believe that their existing payments should be enough.

For those who feel this way, consider this; according to a USA Today report, it will cost a middle class family about $245,340 to raise a child to age 18. This comes out to an average of $13,630 per year ($245,340 divided by 12). Considering that the average child support obligation is about $450 -$700 per month, it certainly may cost more to raise a child than paying support.

Of course, court ordered child support may not compensate for many of the additional costs that come with raising a child, including dues for sports leagues, transportation costs and housing; which was discovered to be the single largest expense for raising a child.

So the overriding point is, despite the additional cost that may come about, it may be worth the extra expense to purchase a desired Christmas present for a child, despite the amount one may pay in support every month. 

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