When you and your spouse decide to divorce, one of the most puzzling yet important details to work out is who will pay child support. The non-custodial parent is usually responsible for making payments, even if he or she has visitation rights. If the court decrees that you pay child support, tracking and proving payments can help you prove you are caring for your children properly, and there are a few helpful strategies you can keep in mind for doing so.
- Avoid Paying with Cash
While fulfilling your child support payments in cash might seem convenient, it can cause you to quickly lose track of what you paid. You might also forget to request receipts, and if you do not have a good relationship with your ex-spouse, it is unlikely he or she will remind you. If the courts ask you for proof that you are paying faithfully, it may be difficult without receipts.
- Use Tracking Apps
You can use phone apps like SupportPay to track your child support payments and create detailed records that may be useful in court or if your ex-spouse claims you are not paying what you should. These apps are available for both iPhone and Android and allow you to track medical expenses and other costs relating to child care all in one place.
- Do Not Subtract Purchase Amounts
As a parent, you will likely be paying for expenses such as school supplies, clothing for your growing children, and groceries for when your kids visit on the weekends. However, even though you are spending money on your children, these purchases cannot be subtracted from the amount of child support payments. While you might want to track these expenses for your own convenience, gifts and other purchases do not count toward what the courts require you to pay.
- Keep Your Receipts
If you use checks or money orders to make your child support payments, use the notation area to record this and then keep copies of canceled checks or carbon copies for at least one year. If you prefer paper receipts, try to keep them all in one place and organize them neatly so you can find a particular one if any questions come up. You may want to shred these documents when the time comes to discard them.
Making child support payments and learning what counts toward them can be a daunting experience, but you do not have to face the future alone. Contact a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from Robinson & Hadeed, today for further advice and information.