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An App to Reduce Child Support Conflicts

Conflicts over money are common after divorce, especially when it comes to child support. Often parents incur small costs throughout everyday life while caring for their children, including sports fees and equipment, after school programs, summer camp expenses, etc. These extra costs are usually not incorporated into the final support orders. So the parent with more custody, or the parent usually in charge of signing the children up and taking them shopping is stuck with the bill. That parent then has to reach out to the other and request a reimbursement of those funds.

There can be feelings of resentment and even suspicion in response to these reimbursement requests. Are the costs real? Is the money being used as reported? Plus, parents may not feel like having to deal with each other every time there is a small cost involving the children.

A woman named Sheri Atwood who noticed all these issues decided to create a phone app to fix it. The free app is called, “Support Pay” and serves as a neutral, third-party facilitator through which parents can request, pay, track and document all child support and shared expenses. The service has a free version. It lets parents exchange money—even small amounts—quickly and easily. Parents can also request a payment. This reduces the chances of conflict and makes it easier for both parents to contribute equally. In addition, the app lets parents send receipts back and forth. This can eliminate suspicion and ensure that the money that is paid is really for an expense that exists.

The ease in sending receipts and tracking parents helps parents get along and eliminates the time and expense required to go back into court. In fact, as of June 2015, courts in 27 counties in California have mandated its use.