The Cost of Divorce with Children

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The Cost of Divorce with Children

If you have children and you’re going through a divorce, one of the things you’ll need to consider is the cost of maintaining two households. When a parent moves out of the marital home, they’ll be faced with a lot of additional expenses, which can mean that your family’s lifestyle may change. Here’s an example:

A father decides to leave his wife and move into an apartment downtown. He’s decided that the children will stay with their mother- now he has to pay rent, utilities and other expenses at his new residence, plus child and spousal support. There are additional expenses, such as security deposits, moving costs, and storage rental. However, the cost to move into a new house is small compared to what it will cost over the long run to maintain two households.

Here’s a way to put it in perspective. Assuming that the parent has a salary of $50,000 per year, they’d net about $3000 per month. After a divorce where spousal and child support are ordered, let’s say at the amount of $1500 per month, that’s an $18,000 decrease in yearly income. If a person’s take home pay is low enough, a divorce can ruin them financially and they’ll be forced to downsize to a much smaller home and lower standard of living.

Since the parent in our example has children, they’ll need a home sufficiently large enough so that they have room when they come to visit. They can’t get a studio apartment, they’ll have to get at least a two-bedroom. If they’re like most non-custodial parents, they’ll only get to see their kids every other weekend- meaning that the majority of the time, the extra rooms will sit unused.

The custodial parent will then have to try to maintain the family’s standard of living on half of the money that was once coming in. They’ll probably have to get a job (if they didn’t have one), or take on more hours at work just to make ends meet. However, any increase in income can be consumed by child care costs.

During divorce proceedings, most people aren’t thinking far enough ahead to what the divorce will truly cost. By considering that a move out of the marital home will mean a drastic decrease in the standard of living (whether you are a custodial parent or not), more people will be encouraged to work on a more amicable solution.






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