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How much do you think it costs to raise just 1 child?

How much is your child really going to cost you? Do not think of just the hospital bills or the changes to your monthly budget. What is the overall cost going to look like after your child moves out?

You may be shocked to learn that experts put the total at $233,610.

It is worth noting that that figure only counts until your child turns 18. As many parents know, children do not always leave on their 18th birthday. Some are still in high school. Others live at home while working or going to college. So, in that light, the $233,610 is probably about as low as it is going to get.

That is for a middle-class family. Obviously, real costs could be more or less simply depending on income and what is affordable. This is an average.

It's also an increase. Between 2016 and 2017, the estimate went up by a full 3 percent. That may not sound like much, but it is a big jump for just a single year.

The most expensive part of the equation was housing, just giving the child a place to live. That was a full 29 percent of the total, or roughly a third of the cost. After that came the food budget, making up 18 percent.

It is important to consider all of these costs when you're getting divorced and dividing custody time. How will your custody plan and parenting plan impact your bills? How much should you think about things like child support payment? Make sure you understand all of the legal options you have and how best to proceed for your family.

Source: Time, "The Cost of Raising a Child Jumps to $233,610," Mahita Gajanan, accessed May 11, 2018

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