The Story Behind SupportPay
Many years ago our CEO & Founder, Sheri Atwood, was enjoying a successful career in the Silicon Valley. Recently divorced, she was juggling a demanding career with raising a child on her own. She then got an idea!
There has to be a better way!
A few months after her daughter’s birth she separated from her daughter’s father and subsequently divorced. Raising her daughter on her own wasn’t the scary part, though it wasn’t something Sheri had dreamed of either, having been raised by a single mother. She did worry about how she would have time to do everything that needed to be done. Since this was a very amicable divorce, she decided to do the divorce, financial agreement and settlement on her own. It sure saved a lot of money and filing the divorce paperwork was fairly easy (though there always seemed to be one document she forgot to fill out and had to go back to the court-house several times!) We had been married for 6 years, and always agreed if we didn’t stay together, we would do our best to ensure our daughter was put before our own needs, wants and emotions. We agreed on custody and visitation and used the standard calculator to determine the amount of child support that would be paid. Other than a few hundred dollars in filing fees, a ton of paperwork and having to wait 6 months for the final judgment (a requirement in the State of California) she can say our divorce went very smoothly. She learned a long time ago that nothing good comes of remaining angry and the best thing she could do for her daughter and her daughter was to build a loving, positive home for us.
Divorce doesn't end the conflict!
The divorce process was easy. However, the biggest lesson she has learned is the issues that lead to divorce- communication and money- do not get easier with your former partner. They get much harder. Now that she had less time and they were no longer managing a single household and bank account, enforcing the child support agreement became difficult and time-consuming. Let’s face it no one likes to talk about money with someone they like. And they really don’t like to talk about money with their someone who is now their ex.
Perhaps if child support was simply one payment per month it wouldn’t be so hard. However, in most, if not all child support agreements, parents are supposed to split basic household expenses plus incremental expenses such as healthcare, education or any other special needs for the children. These incremental, or additional, expenses became a communication and tracking nightmare. Between tracking on a spreadsheet, having to keep copies and send them to my ex as well as having to remind him to pay me, or a third party for any child-related expense, she began to feel more like a bill collector than anything else and the entire process was time-consuming, exhausting and fraught with error. she just wished she never had to talk to my ex about money again.
SupportPay is Born!
Everyone receives monthly utility or credit card bills with details on where the money was spent, so why couldn’t we do this with child support? I would get an automated process that did all the reminders and tracking for me and he would get the transparency and proof that the expenses were for my daughter.
After researching, I was surprised to learn that there are over 298 Million parents globally who are raising their children in non-nuclear households (or as we call it, modern family households). In the United States, there are 39 Million parents. Even though there are such a large population and a clear problem there was no solution to help parents manage the financials involved while raising children in multiple households. So I thought to myself: “I could make something that not only made my life better but could really help all the parents out there in a similar situation.” Imagine how happy our children would be if they didn’t have to hear their parents arguing over money!
After a Child Support Order or Agreement
Despite the fact that more than 298 million parents exchange over $990 billion dollars every year in child support after an order or agreement has been established parents are left to try to figure out how to manage the complicated, complex and time-consuming process.
The irony of such a situation is that two people who mutually agreed that they can no longer stay together must now figure out how to communicate about money for the purpose of sharing child expenses.
STRESS & CONFLICT
This naturally leads to a stressful partnership, harmful for all involved, especially the children. Clearly, a solution was needed to address this complex, painful and conflict-ridden process, yet none existed.
SupportPay is Born
SupportPay seeks to address the specific needs of parents dealing with child support. It provides a much needed automated child support platform to help parents manage the process of sharing child expenses and exchanging child support.
ENDING THE CONFLICT
SupportPay takes the emotion out of the equation and protects your finances from becoming a victim of quick tempers and pent up aggression. It is the embodiment of a simple solution to address a complex problem.
SAVE TIME & MONEY
Both parents can manage child support communications, bills, payments, receipts, documents, and get certified reports through SupportPay. Imagine eliminating phone calls, constant reminders, checking numerous bank accounts or updating spreadsheets. All your child support and child expenses in one place, for both parents.