BOSTON (CBS) - Children are the innocent bystanders in a divorce.
So here is where a couple should be spending their time, energy and money. Trying to do what is right by the kids. The kids should be a priority.
Studies have shown that kids do get beat up emotionally in a divorce and some never recover. It affects their future relationships, health and behavior.
For most kids their standard of living changes and not for the better. According to the census bureau there are over 74 million kids under 18 in the US and of that number over 23 million are living in single parent households.
Over 17 million live with their mom and 3 million live with their dad and almost 3 million live in a household with no parent present. Many of the kids living in a two-parent home are living with stepparents. 50% of children will witness the divorce of their parents. Almost half of them will also witness the breakup of a parent's second marriage. That is a lot of kids affected by divorces.
Child support? How much should the non-custodial parent be expected to pay? Check the calculator at AllLaw to help you figure out how much a parent will need to pay in child support. If you have a child with special needs or special schooling requirements child support may be more.
How much will it cost you to raise your child? The numbers are staggering, according to the US Dept. of Agriculture's most recent numbers, a middleclass family will pay out over $233,610 for the care and feeding of a child thru age 18. But here in the northeast our costs are higher coming in at just over $264,000.
That does not include college. Just the everyday expenses of raising a kid, like food, clothing, housing, health insurance, sports equipment, braces, computers, car seats etc.
The Department of Agriculture considers a middle class family one with a before tax income between $59,000 and $107,000.
Two more things: If you are relying on your spouse for child support and help with the college expenses be sure your spouse has life insurance naming you the beneficiary.
Check out Bankrate.com's website for a calculator on how much it will cost you to raise your child.
You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.
for more features.