Child support modifications: the cost of raising teenagers

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Blog, Child Support |

If you finished Florida divorce proceedings a few years ago and worked out the kinks of a parenting plan, you may believe that going to court is in the past. However, now that you have teenagers, current child support no longer covers expenses. As a result, you may go back to court for a modification that increases your ex’s child support payments.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that overall annual expenses for small children are considerably less than for teenagers. If you have pre-teens and teenagers, your costs may increase by more than 30%.

Common living expenses

The teen years are often expensive for parents and costs may spiral out of control. The food bill may explode, especially if you have boys, as they typically eat more than girls. Meals at home and snacks can average more than $2,400 a year, and this does not include eating out.

Although boys may experience more growth spurts, girls’ clothes are often more expensive. These, plus a variety of additional factors contribute to the necessity of frequent wardrobe updates. If your teen participates in sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities, transportation costs may become an issue. From gas for the carpools to insurance and a car when they get their drivers’ license, expenses are ongoing.

Education and technology

If your child attends a private school or takes college classes in addition to those in high school, education expenses can skyrocket quickly. Smartphones, computers and related costs, such as internet and software, can cost more than $2,000 per child over three years.

Braces, glasses and contacts often become necessary for teens. As a result, overall healthcare may also be more expensive during these years. Raising teens is costly. If your children’s needs outpace your budget, you may request that the court grants a child support modification.