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Parents need more than child support

Paying child support is a great way for a non-custodial parent to help with raising a child. Kids cost a lot, and child support helps cover a portion of that cost.

That said, experts warn that parents shouldn't assume that it's enough. A person who is paying child support can't just mail off that check every month and feel like he or she is doing 50 percent of the work.

First, a lot of people don't even pay. The U.S. Census Bureau says that 39 percent of parents who have custody don't get anything, even if it's been ordered.

Further, those who are paid often don't get very much. The average monthly support payment is $280. Anyone with a child knows that's barely going to make a dent in the expenses some months.

Parents with custody face more than just standard daily costs. When the child gets sick, the parent may have to take an unpaid day off of work to stay home. That's lost income. The child then has to go to the doctor and may need medication. Those are additional costs.

That's just one example, but things like that come up unexpectedly and frequently with kids. Single parents have to shoulder much of the load on their own.

Child support is important. but it is often necessary. Parents need to think about the realities of raising kids and what it's going to mean for both of them. During the divorce process and while drafting the parenting plan, some of these things can be addressed. Your Pennsylvania family law attorney can provide guidance.

Source: For Harriet, "Child Support Is Never Just About the Money," Anna Gibson, accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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