Even the sexiest divorce has some troubles, most of which revolve around finances and child support payments. While there are state guidelines for child support that regulate basic costs, it does not take into account all other costs associated with raising a child.
While every state has child support guidelines or a purpose-built system, they only look after 16 million parents in the US. It is estimated that an additional 39 million parents exchange child benefits and share child expenses. The 60% of parents who do not have government support policies must try to manage the child support process themselves.
Below are 5 state guidelines for child support that don’t work
1. Basic support only
State child support guidelines only manage basic child support payments or payments that have a set amount each month. There is no state policy that also manages additional or incremental expenses that must be shared between parents, or other expenses that may fluctuate over time.
Examples include childcare, education, after-school activities, doctor visits, etc. In many cases, costs may change depending on the time of year or the age of the child, but current child support policies are not equipped to manage these changes. You can only process payments that are the same every month. If an expense needs to be split or split, the system will not work. These systems tend to be very out of date, averaging 10 years or older, and focus on collecting and distributing basic support payments.
2. No receipt, payment or document management
In many cases, additional documentation or information will need to be provided in order to properly manage child support payments. For example, in many cases where childcare is added to the basic child support payment, a receiving parent may be asked at any time to provide receipts for childcare. If they cannot provide receipts, the state can take away the parent’s money. However, the government systems do not provide a means of storing, sharing, sending or managing documents such as receipts, proof of payment, etc.
3. Child entertainment agencies: Overworked and understaffed
State enforcement agencies for child benefit continue to suffer from budget cuts. These budget cuts affect the ability to update outdated systems or have enough staff to manage child benefit cases. The main goal of state child support enforcement agencies is to raise child support to offset the cost of supporting parents and children who receive public support. If you’re a parent who doesn’t fall into this category, the chances of getting help or help from an already overburdened enforcement agency drops dramatically.
4. No payment history, calculations and records
In the vast majority of government systems, parents have a very limited amount of information to help them see how much they have paid or received in the past. When it comes to arrears or late child support payments, most states do not provide a breakdown of the child child support calculation. With APR rates between 8% and 12% for overdue child support payments and insufficient information on balance sheet calculations, parents don’t know if the amount reported is correct.
In addition, receiving parents rarely, if ever, receive notifications that a payment has or has not been made. Most of the time, the only way to find out is by manually checking your bank account. When it comes to tax preparation or filing a change in child benefit, parents need to manually find evidence of payments made or received.
5. A lack of transparency leads to conflict
The lack of transparency about child support causes the greatest conflict between parents and leads to parents stop paying and participating in their children’s lives. According to thousands of parents convicted of paying child support, the biggest complaint about child support payments revolves around financial transparency. In fact, the most common answer from these parents is, “I have no problem paying my share of supporting my children. I just want to know that the money goes to my child. “
The biggest complaint among the receiving parents is: “The other parent has no idea how expensive the children really are. They don’t shop or sign them up for their activities. “Without keeping their own detailed records for every purchase made for the child, there is absolutely no way the receiving parent can prove the real cost of raising a child. Instead, receiving parents often argue with the other parent about what their child needs and how the money will be spent.
Apps and websites that provide automated and off-the-shelf approaches to managing child benefit and sharing that expense are a valuable tool for parents who work together to support their children financially. They are also a valuable tool for parents who have to prove in court how much they spent on a child, how much support they received or not, and on the other hand for parents who have to prove that they have paid for their ordered support.
In addition, parents get all of the additional features that state guidelines don’t provide. If parents currently manage basic support through a government system, these apps provide parents with a place to find all of their child support information. With apps like SupportPay and 2Houses.com, parents spend less time managing child benefits, disputing how it is spent, and more time raising and enjoying healthy, happy children.
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