A new report released by the non-profit group Child Aware of America indicates that cost for child care now exceeds rent payments in most states in the country.In Indiana, which is ranked as having the 10th highest child care rates in the country, parents are typically paying about 13.5 percent of their income on child care. This was only slightly behind the state with the No. 1 highest child care rates – New York, where families paid about 15.9 percent of their salaries for it.
Indiana child support lawyers know that this is difficult enough for two-parent households. It’s nearly impossible when a single parent is treading water, trying to stay afloat on the bills.
For many parents, the issue of support – or rather, refusing to collect it when they could – is a source of pride. It sends a message to the non-involved parent that, “I can do it without you.”
It’s a sentiment that, given the rising cost of so many goods and services, few single parents can afford. Many are finding that they now have no choice but to petition the court for a support order just to make ends meet.
Other single parents may have support orders in place that are not being honored by the non-custodial parent. In these cases, custodial parents can petition the court, with the help of their attorney, for some form of relief from the court. Judges have the authority to order a variety of relief measures, such as wage garnishment, liens or revocation of driving privileges.
To put into perspective what many single parents are dealing with, consider some of the figures from Child Care Aware’s new research:
- The yearly cost for infant care rose by about 2 percent last year – in some cases, by as much as $15,000;
- The yearly cost to care for a 4-year-old spiked by more than 4 percent – in some cases by as much as $11,700.
- In half of all states, the cost of child care for one child exceeded the annual median rent payments;
- When the cost for two children were considered, it exceeded rent in all 50 states;
- In 35 states, the cost for full-time infant care exceeded the cost of in-state tuition and college fees at a four-year university.
Then you factor in a host of other upwardly-spiraling costs, such as a 30-cent spike in gasoline prices and grocery bills that have shot up more than 10 percent in the last month, and it becomes clear the family budget is under pressure from all sides.
A report that was released earlier this summer by a separate non-profit indicated that the cost to raise a child will be $8,000 more for a child born in 2011 than for a child born in 2010.
All this, and we haven’t even talked about the current job market.
The bottom line is this: There is no shame in seeking support for your child – support to which he or she is rightfully entitled.
But you shouldn’t go it alone. We can help.
Indiana Family Law Attorney Burton A. Padove handles divorce and child custody matters throughout northern Indiana, including Gary, Hammond and Calumet City. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
Child care costs exceed rent in most states, By Emily Jane Fox, CNNMoney