If parents who receive child support worry about receiving monthly payments, they can sign up for receipt electronically through the Family Support Division so that their funds get transferred electronically on a given schedule (or some may choose wage withholding). But what about for all other expenses that are shared and require reimbursement? It can become very tedious to have to go back to court on contempt motions for that purpose. As it turns out, someone has a solution – an app in our new technological age.
As described in this article from Bloomberg Business, Sheri Atwood experienced divorce as both a child and later as an adult, and she found that money and poor communication made post-divorce life unpleasant. So she has created SupportPay, an app that allows parents to set up a method of uploading expenses incurred and paid so the other parent can promptly pay. The system has many advantages, including requiring documentation of each bill and each payment, a computer log of the demand for payment, and a communication system that allows each parent to send questions to the other, whether about the expense itself or payment.
A particularly interesting feature of the app is the dispute section where a parent may write to the other parent to question an expense. For example, if a new expense arises – say tutoring for school – a parent can explain the cost, the tutor and the need without getting into a face to face argument. Once the other parent sees the need and the breakdown, the dispute lessens and becomes more focused – is the expense cost-effective (could we get a less expensive tutor, are other options available) for example — to minimize issues.
The app has different price points depending upon the level of features you require. Some users can get a free version that is a bit sparse, while pay versions have segmented levels up to a professional version that would keep records permanently and even send to a mediator or the parties’ attorneys.
As we have discussed in other posts, technology is offering more ways to help parents keep disputes to a minimum, whether through calendaring custody schedules or paying support.
If you have questions about technology and child support, contact us – we can help.