Child support is an important element in a shared parenting arrangement. In many cases, it allows a parent to financially support their child who primarily lives with their other parent. However, you can still make a positive impact on their lives, and a part of the way you can do that is by paying your child support consistently and on time. However, this isn’t always easy when you’re not using a method of payment that is convenient for you. Even so, making these payments is important. Here are a few strategies for paying child support.
Pay on time
Paying child support on time is so important, as your co-parent may need the money in order to purchase important items or the kids. If they receive the money late, this could cause problems for your children. If late payments pile up, this can even create legal problems that you will be forced to face.
The method of payment you use can have a great impact on whether you are making your payments on time or not. Sometimes the court has already decided how you will be paying child support, but if you have a say in the matter, research the different methods of paying child support that are available to you. One commonly used method is to pay via automatic transfer. This is helpful because it lowers your risk of forgetting to make the payment.
Document your payments
If you don’t have documentation proving that you paid your child support, your co-parent could potentially make the claim that you never did. Co-parenting tools, like those available on the OurFamilyWizard website, keep records of all of the payments you have paid. This helps to eliminate the risk of conflict being ensued over confusion about payments. If you aren’t using a co-parenting tool or another method that will document the payments for you, keep copies of receipts or any other documentation that can prove that you have paid. Talk to your attorney about how best to document child support depending on the method of payment you are using.
You should include child support in your budget along with all of your other necessities like rent, food, and utilities. The consequences of not paying can be just as steep, and added onto that is the trouble that it will cause your children. If you always keep these payments in mind, you are much less likely to forget to pay them or to overspend on something and not have enough left over. In the end, not paying child support will cause you far more trouble than it is worth, particularly if you let it pile up. Unpaid child support can quickly accumulate into massive sums of debt.
Be careful when making modifications
Sometimes making modifications to your child support payments simply isn’t avoidable. When this happens, you have the option of requesting a modification. It is good to talk to your co-parent about this proposed modification before going to the court. If you can reach an agreement outside of the courtroom, the court will be more likely to grant the modification. Remember to check with your attorney about how to propose your modification officially, as simply making changes to your payments without telling the court could result in legal trouble later on. Research the laws in your state to see how it would be best to make a modification to your payments.
All in all, it is to be smart and attentive when it comes to making child support payments. Remember that you aren’t paying your co-parent, but you are paying to support your children. Keeping that in mind can help to make actually making these payments a bit easier for you to mentally endure.