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

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Why child support may not be as daunting

Let’s face it, those who are ordered to pay child support may not always like to do so. To some, a child support obligation may be like a unsanctioned version of spousal maintenance because so many parents who receive such support spend it on many other things besides the child. Because of this, some parents (particularly those who pay support), may believe that raising a child in your home may be cheaper.

If this is your unbridled belief, you may be surprised with the amount of money it takes to raise a child to age 18. Essentially, it will take between $230,000 and $500,000 to do so. 

If these numbers seem mind boggling and unrealistic, consider this; sports leagues and other extra-curricular activities cost money. Not only do uniforms and equipment cost money, but many people do not consider the money spent on gas transporting their junior athletes and performers to their practices and recitals.

Further, kids who want to go to summer camps, (whether they are basketball camps or trips to the wilderness) may not realize how much these camps costs, but their parents do. Additionally, you have annual costs such as Halloween costumes, Christmas presents and Easter outfits.

Most importantly all of these costs mentioned do not fall under the child raising costs covered by statute. Basically, a family court judge generally will not hold a person in contempt for refusing to cover sports league costs and other costs for extracurricular activities.

So the next time you complain about child support, consider the alternative. 

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