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Monday, May 04, 2009

Actual Costs of Raising Child: Federal and State Child Support Guidelines

I wanted to take a moment and review Title 45 Sec 302.56 with you, which is part of the Title IV-D program. Title IV-D is a voluntary program that states may opt-in for federal grants and incentive funds for the operation of child support enforcement and paternity establishment programs. Please note that if a state fails to comply with a federal mandate, that it may be grounds for the state to lose federal funding or be forced to pay back portions of already received funding.

Federal Mandates require that State Child Support Guidelines be reviewed periodically, and upon that review that state guidelines must "consider economic data on the actual costs of raising children."

Title 45 §302.56 Guidelines for setting child support awards.

(h) As part of the review of a State’s guidelines required under paragraph (e) of this section, a State must consider economic data on the cost of raising children and analyze case data, gathered through sampling or other methods, on the application of, and deviations from, the guidelines. The analysis of the data must be used in the State’s review of the guidelines to ensure that deviations from the guidelines are limited.

For those of you that are monitoring your state's implementation of child support guidelines, the USDA regularly produces a report on the ACTUAL COSTS OF RAISING A CHILD IN SINGLE PARENT AND TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE HOUSEHOLDS.

You can view the historical data on raising children back to 1995. Further, since both parents have to maintain their own housing, you could strip this number from the actual cost of raising the child, and then divide the remaining total by two (for two parents) and that would be each parents' equal share for the actual cost of raising a child. You will find it is likely lower than what most child support guidelines are. You should raise this point, since the data is openly available.

Feel free to share your findings with me on this issues.


Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that data is not really relevant because we are placating custodial parents in the form of custodial parent support subsidies. It is a legal fiction. How Judges can depart from guideline support and determine the cost for 1 child $1,000 a week is beyond my thinking. Anyway, future generations will look back at this and shake their heads.

Mighty Mike Russo said...

Mine came out that I pay 1210 a year more in child support than the usda calculations. This was with calculating only one parent household in a rural area 3 children 13-11-6. Of course DCSE has never included my expenses in anything, I don't know why they would now.

Anonymous said...

The housing, health care, and child education figures are way over estimated. Every adult is expected to provide their own housing. In most cases, as in mine, it costs me nothing extra to have an additional resident. The child should not be considered pitching in for housing. The number should be greatly reduced.

Health care through my employer only costs me about $130 / month.

Lastly, often, as in my case, my mother watched my child for nothing when I was working and education through high school is free. This number is very bloated as well.

There is no question that receiving child support is like winning the lottery and paying the child support threatens the payers ability to provide for himself much less for a child who regularly visits. The child goes from mommy's condo to daddy's shack.

Long way round Fathers Rights said...

We are about to begin a documentary of what occurs when fathers and the legal system cross paths. Our hope is to reaching as many people possible, who are or have been involved in this issue. Word of mouth and networking is really the only way to gather the true stories needed to create the documentary.
If you are able to assist in this, please feel free to contact us or pass this message along.
Thank you;
Team Argus.

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