Life... Health... Reviews...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Expenses of raising children

Michelle* is a woman who separated from her husband a few years ago and who is now going through a divorce. The couple had three children together and the husband recently decided to stop giving Michelle money to help take care of the children. His reasoning includes the fact that they had "agreed" to him giving her $700 per month and when they weren't able to come to an alternative agreement during their mediation that meant he didn't have to pay anything. He also stated that if he was forced to pay what the lawyers calculated $1,000 to $1,400 per month then he needs to "save" money to meet the court order.
While the couple was together, Michelle was a stay-at-home mom who occasionally worked at her own business. Their children are young and close in age, and Michelle spent most of their short marriage pregnant. Her husband made the bulk of the income and every time she would say she should go back to work, he would respond, 'You don't want to do that.'

Michelle says that her husband told her he is not giving her $1,200 per month to take care of her. She was shocked at his statement and disbelieving of the fact that he seems to have no idea how much it takes to take care for a child each month - let alone three children.

This is where I came in and added my two cents. Thanks to some research information I'd received.

Not too long after discovering this there was a press release in my email in box from IBISWorld.com, a company that publishes industry and company research reports and information, revealing that in today's economy parenting is even costlier. According to the Los Angeles-based company the impact of our economic condition further exacerbates financial commitment and the average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 18 is $227,862. That's $12,658 per year or about $1,054.
© IBISWorld USA

According to my calculations Michelle needs about $3,164 each month just to care for those three children. If her soon-to-be ex-husband paid half that would be $1,582 each month. He's balking because she is asking (against her lawyer's recommendations) for a minimum of $1,000.

Kind of reminds me of that snake in my yard. Oops, sorry, I digress.
Photo credit: Petula Wright

It really angers and discourages me when I hear stories like this. I'll never understand how someone can be so spiteful and hateful not to care enough about a person they once loved to do the right thing. I've heard that he's giving the daycare provider money for field trips and, of course, providing for the children when they're with him every other weekend. But to hold money hostage, to gain and force control, is just plain wrong.
© IBISWorld USA

Do you know of similar situations? Or have you noticed that the condition of the economy is making it harder to provide for your children? Take a minute and weigh in.

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent.
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