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New computer program could aid in child support

When a couple makes the decision to divorce, they often assume that they will be able to go their separate ways, and, if they so choose, never see one another again. This is not the case, however, if the spouses have children.

The marriage may come to an end, but parenting lasts forever. It can be difficult, however, for ex-spouses to maintain a successful parenting relationship after the divorce, especially if the separation was acrimonious. Child support, in particular, is a common stumbling block.

Oftentimes, noncustodial parents resent paying child support, especially if they feel they are not involved in the child's life. In other cases, noncustodial parents may resist making payments because they fear the custodial parent is spending the money on personal items, rather than on the child.

A new computer program seeks to smooth over these sticking points by simplifying and clarifying child support accounting. The program, called SupportPay, keeps track of the amounts that noncustodial parents must pay each month and tracks any back payments. If a noncustodial parent misses a payment, he or she receives a polite reminder from the program.

The program can also track any expenses related to the child, such as school supplies, activity fees or food and clothing. This helps noncustodial parents see how the money is being spent and get an idea of the real expenses as they relate to the child.

This sort of account can also come in handy during an Illinois child support modification. Child support modifications are legal proceedings initiated by one parent to alter the monthly child support payment. Often, they are initiated by noncustodial parents in response to a sudden economic shift, such as a job loss. Accurate records of the child's day-to-day expenses can be of great assistance during these proceedings, as they help the court to understand how the current child support payments are being spent.

Xconomy, "Using Tech to De-Stress Child Support" Bernadette Tansey, Nov. 05, 2013

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