Often, divorce isn’t as simple as signing up the papers and dividing the assets. If children are involved, both parties may have to sit down and talk about child custody and support.
The rules for both can vary between states. Take, for example, how to calculate child support.
Parents need to choose between Worksheets A and B. This depends on how much time the child spends on their custodial and non-custodial parent.
In Worksheet A, the kid usually spends much of their time with their custodial parent and visits or sees the non-custodial one on alternating weekends or holidays. In this scenario, the possible child support the non-custodial parent provides is about 25% of their income.
In Worksheet B, it is understood that the child spends not less than 35% of their calendar year with the non-custodial parent. In this case, both mom and dad may have to split the cost of raising a child. However, the amount may not be equal for each.
Usually, the court uses a specific formula to determine the actual amount. But what factors are accounted for when calculating child support? How much goes to raising a child in New Mexico?
1. Childcare and Tuition Fees
If the custodial parent has to work, then there’s a good chance that the child spends a part of their day in childcare. In the United States, that is not cheap.
The Cost of Care Survey revealed that over 70% of the families spent about 10% of their income goes toward childcare. Keep in mind that these are likely households with both parents working.
Meanwhile, Care.com revealed that the cost of a daycare center in the United States is already over $200 per week. Hiring a nanny is more expensive at $500 weekly. In states like New Mexico, a daycare center may be worth around $8,000 a year.
Families may breathe a little once the kid enters elementary—if they go to public school. Else, the average expense in a private school could reach $10,000 annually for elementary school and nearly $15,000 once they’re already in high school.
The costs may decline again once the child enters college or university. For those living in New Mexico, child support can already end if the kid is already 18 or 19, depending on the age they graduated from high school.
2. Medical Care
Healthcare spending on kids in the United States rose to over $230 billion from less than $150 billion between 1996 and 2013, according to a JAMA study. One of the possible reasons is the overall increase in healthcare costs in the country.
The expenses are usually the highest when it comes to newborn care. Two of the other possible biggest causes of spending are dental care and treatment or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The average spending for a kid below 1 year old could already be close to $12,000. In 2013, the average healthcare cost was $2,777 for every kid.
To minimize the costs, either or both parents can enroll their child into their health insurance policy. But the data suggests that it can also increase the premium depending on the state. In New Mexico, every child can make the parent’s monthly premium go up by about $245, according to Value Penguin.
3. Auto Insurance
Parents may also need to pay for the teen’s auto insurance premium once they decide or are ready to drive. In New Mexico, there are minimum limits to coverage.
- Minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury (the same amount applies for uninsured motorist bodily injury, although this one can be optional)
- Minimum of $10,000 per accident that results in bodily injury
- At least $10,000 per accident to cover for property damage
The state requires everyone who drives to have auto insurance. But those who can drive without supervision—and they can be as young as 15 years old—can get it by themselves.
If the parents decide to include teen auto insurance coverage in their policy, the possible annual rate for their premium could be around $5,000 if the child is 16 years old. Otherwise, separate insurance for the kid could cost almost $7,000. The premiums may decline as the teen ages.
Raising a child is both the parents’ responsibility, so child support is often non-negotiable in states like New Mexico. However, the court also wants to be fair, so all parties need to work together to ensure parents can provide their child’s essentials without jeopardizing their economic needs.