The purpose of this paper is to discuss the financial planning implications of child support awards made at time of divorce. A hypothetical case study approach is used to describe a typical divorce award, to compare a typical settlement with costs of raising children, and to project an alternative settlement scenario given the difference in award and costs. Factors affecting awards made to custodial parents and the need of the custodial parent for support are presented. Data from court records of divorce settlements in four Ohio counties are used to develop typical award patterns, and cost estimates developed by Edwards (1981) are used to project need. These projections show that current guidelines for child support result in awards that do not adequately meet costs past the third year. Key Words: divorce, child support, financial planning

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