What Is the Easiest Way to Make a Child Support Payment?
The easiest way to make a child support payment is likely through direct deposit, where funds are automatically withdrawn from one checking account, and deposited into another. Some divorced couples may feel uncomfortable with this payment method, however, and may want to find another simple way to make a child support payment. In this case, simply mailing a check or a money order is often the best way. It is important never to send cash, because then there is no record that the payment was made, which could lead to a great deal of additional issues down the road, if questions are ever raised about the payments.
The terms of the required child support payment will generally be written into the divorce decree, and it may also specify the day of the month on which the child support must be received. Anyone who does not follow the specifications in the divorce decree may be taken back to court, so it is very important to make the payment in the full amount, and by the date specified. For this reason, many people find that direct deposit is the easiest way to make a payment, in which the money is automatically sent to the ex-spouse once per month.
For people who do not wish to make a child support payment in this manner, sending it in the mail is the next simplest option. It might be helpful to set a reminder on a cell phone or email a few days prior to make sure it happens. It is important to always send something that provides a record that the payment was actually mailed, such as a check or money order. The canceled check will be the proof of payment, and the carbon copy of the money order can also serve as proof. Cash should never be used because there is no way to keep a record of it.
As long as the parameters set forth in the divorce decree are followed, making a child support payment should be relatively easy. If an individual starts making partial payments, or missing payments altogether, it might be necessary to call the lawyer again, or even go back to court if he or she refuses to make the payment that was agreed upon. This process can be even costlier and more stressful for all the individuals involved, including the kids in the family, so it is best to always make payments as agreed, or as ordered by the court.
@Grivusangel -- I'd never use anything but online. I have a friend who pays child support to her ex-husband (complete jerk). She uses the state's website and says it has saved her untold amounts of hassle because the ex's current wife apparently thinks it's her job to monitor the child support payments. My friend says it's because the child support money is the step's spending money.
At any rate, the step has told the ex the money didn't arrive, and the ex called my friend, who just emailed him a copy of the receipt and copied the email to her attorney, so she would know what's going on. She actually ended up having to produce the bank statement showing the debit, and her attorney requested a copy of the ex's bank statement to prove the money made it in there.
The step was very, very unhappy that the ex didn't just take the "unpaid" money out of my friend's hide. I swear the ex and the step deserve each other.
Some states have online payment set up, and that's what I'd use. In my opinion, it's even more reliable than a check or money order. You can log on to the site, pay the bill and then print a receipt. Not only that, you can also take a screenshot of the receipt screen and save it, or scan the receipt and save it to a CD-RW or flash drive so you have a record of each transaction. I would. That way, if the ex said he or she didn't get the payment, you have proof that the payment went through.
I would also save a copy of the bank statement showing the money came out of my account and went to the child support agency. If the state debits your account, then they have the money and it's the state's responsibility to get it to the parent receiving the funds.
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