Child Support – The Loaded Term

Child Support is such a loaded term. What does it actually mean? What does it legally entail? Many people see child support as the Webster’s defined term, which is the amount of money that the non-custodial parent gives to the custodial parent to pay for a child’s basic needs. Child support technically is determined by the courts using calculators to estimate amounts, and is ruled into a court order. So one would be led to believe that the court ordered amount equals the child support payment, and that’s all there is to it.

Kids cost a lot of money. Around every turn there are more needs…they grow out of their shoes and pants, they want to be involved in sports and activities, there is summer camp, or they get hurt and need expensive medical care.  It really goes on and on, and there is no predicting the amount of extra money above and beyond basic needs being met, that will be required. This is the dilemma with child support.

The non-custodial parent pays their court appointed amount each month for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. Meanwhile, the custodial parent is keeping track of all the extra things that cost beyond that, and will be letting the non-custodial parent know that they need more money to help with those costs. This can lead to a lot of distress and mistrust because the non-custodial parent is wondering where their money is going. Why isn’t the court appointed amount enough?  The custodial parent should be keeping record of everything! Receipts, bills, transactions, anything related to the children, so that they can show the actual costs behind the requests.

This is where SupportPay is vital for tracking child support. With this tool the parents can easily see what the extensive and detailed costs are of raising their child. The non-custodial parent can make their child support payment here directly. The custodial parent can show what bills or expenses were paid with that child support money. The custodial parent can take snapshots of bills or receipts and label them showing what they were for. Parents can categorize expenses and show exactly where they money is going. Anything above and beyond what the child support payment covers can easily be displayed. Parents can request sharing the payment and SupportPay will send an email to “bill” the other parent. Everything is in one place, documented and tracked. All that you want to communicate is accessible to both parents online. Child support is not a simple, easily defined term. There is so much to it. But with tools like SupportPay, child support CAN be made simple for everyone involved.

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