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How often do women pay child support?

 Actress Melanie Nicholls-King attends amfAR Cinema Against AIDS TIFF 2012 during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Shangri-La Hotel on September 7, 2012 in Toronto, Canada.
Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images For amfAR

This article was originally published by The Wire Examiner.

In the fourth season of TV show "The Wire," the "Know Your Place" episode gave an unpopular reminder about women and child support.

Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs (played by Sonja Sohn) got a raise at work after going from an undercover detective to working in the homicide department. One of her paychecks was $2,521.53, and her boss Sergeant Jay Landsman (played by Delaney Williams) was unenthused by her goal with overtime earnings: to pay down debt.

This episode brought up interesting questions about women and child support, in the LGBT community and otherwise. While Detective James "Jimmy" McNulty (played by Dominic West) hemmed and hawed about his own child support payments to his wife, Elena McNulty (played by Callie Thorne), both detectives admitted that they'd gotten behind in payments due to their own salaries.

Although Kima was no longer with Cheryl (played by Melanie Nicholls-King), who was in another relationship, the deal when they were dating was that they'd have a child carried by Cheryl.

Kima even put her foot down about Cheryl not having traditional sex in order to be impregnated. And even when Kima cheated on her significant other and worried that family life wasn't for her, she still came back around to try to take care of their child, Elijah. (Why she was called "Aunt Kima" instead of "Mom" is still a mystery.)

But how much was the three months that Kima handed Cheryl for child support? Turns out it was a sufficient amount for the average amount of child support, with some money left over for her own bills.

According to the Census, in 2012, the average amount of child support is $430 monthly, totaling $5,150 per year. However, child support tends to be more for men than women, with women paying 15 percent of child support at $3,500 while men pay 85 percent at $5,450.

With women on average making a lower salary than men, the child support amount may be affected.

So is $430 a low number? Depends on the parents and the upbringing.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $161,220 for a single household ($8,956 per year) and $173,490 for a two-parent household ($9,638 per year).

From the ages of 11 through 17, the rate of child expenses increased more. For a two-parent household, the highest amount for raising one child was at age 17 ($18,380). But for a single-parent household, the highest amount was at age 14 ($12,460).

In states like Illinois, child support is calculated by the net income of the parents and the number of children the payer is responsible for.

For one child, that is 20 percent, according to Child Support Illinois.

Although Kima and Cheryl only had to work as a team for one child, there are perks for being the parents of multiple children (outside of love, companionship, security at an older age, etc.). Financially one of the best ways to save money with multiple children is to make use of them as babysitters, as well as taking sufficient care of their clothing, baby supplies and proper use of their rooms so parents have the option to save money and recycle as needed.

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, the Scandal Examiner the National African American Entertainment Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all her latest Chicago finance, employment and savings tips, or subscribe to her Chicago Personal Finance channel at the top of this page.

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