Bringing up a family is often considered one of life's biggest financial commitments, but as new research indicates, the related costs are now reaching levels that have never been seen before.
With health and childcare becoming increasingly expensive, Suncorp Bank's Cost of Kids Report revealed that parents are paying $1,300 more each year to raise their offspring.
This is well above annual consumer price index rises, showing that some single-parent households in particular are likely to struggle to give their children everything they need in life.
Monique Reynolds, general manager at Suncorp, revealed that health costs in Australia are currently the fifth highest in the developed world, costing 50 per cent more than in the UK and 30 per cent higher than in the USA.
"An Australian family with a three to four-year-old in childcare is spending almost a third of the annual average wage on childcare," she noted.
"Teenagers cost their parents $227.40 per week. This compares to $220.15 per week for infants, $184.73 per week for toddlers and $170.70 for primary school aged children."
Figures such as these emphasise the need for some single-parent families to seek family law advice so that spousal support or other financial assistance can be arranged.
The survey indicated that there are an increasing number of gadgets that modern-day children claim to 'need' - Australian kids have among the highest rates of mobile phone ownership in the developed world.
As a result, parents are paying out around $2 per week for youngsters between the ages of three and four to stay connected, $4 a week for five to 12 year olds and $13 a week for those aged between 13 and 17.
"The ongoing costs associated with education, entertainment and communication, which escalate considerably once the child hits high school, are likely to place real strain on the family budget, and need to be planned for well in advance," Ms Reynolds emphasised.
Suncorp Bank's Cost of Kids Report discovered that 17 is the most expensive year in a child's life, illustrating the need for parents to have financial contingency plans in place wherever possible.
If you feel you are entitled to spousal support or need help with any other family law matter, speak to the experts at Craddock Murray Neumann.
Our friendly, personalised service will help you find the best way forward for you and your children.