Handling Illinois Child-Related Expenses in the Digital Age
If you have children, getting divorced means you are never truly free of your ex. The child custody and child support agreements mean you will, at minimum, be dealing with your ex when it comes to exchanging the children for visitation and dealing with support payments.
Yet while those child support payments are determined by a statutory formula based on the parents’ income, deductions and the child custody schedule itself, there are several other child-related expenses that an agreement does not always cover. Hence, this means a lot of unnecessary friction that can often land parents back in court.
Payment of Child-Related Costs: There is an App for That
Given today’s high-tech world, it should come as no surprise that there is now an app — several, in fact — designed to help make the process of paying for child-related expenses a lot less contentious. The apps, however, are not designed to track payment of child support. Instead, they track the “extras” that go into raising children — activities fees, sports equipment and uniforms, class trips and even, payment of medical co-pays and deductibles.
Some programs allow parents to create and send expenses accompanied by a receipt. The program sends a bill to the other parent — complete with a breakdown of how much each parent owes, based on what was determined in the child custody agreement — and then automatically transfers the funds once the parent who receives the receipt approves it.
Others allow parents to record online what they paid for and for how much. These programs open up the lines of communication and lessen feelings of inequity between the parents. If mom can see that dad paid $300 for a month’s worth of piano lessons — information that he may not have shared with her without the app — then she may not feel as though she is shouldering all the costs when she pays $250 for cheerleading camp.
While the use of apps can help increase communication and accountability between the parents, it cannot help avoid all conflict. In cases where parents simply cannot agree on who should pay for what, whether it is because the child support agreement was silent on the issue or because the expense popped up after the agreement was finalized, or if one parent is not fulfilling the terms of the order, the only solution is to file a petition for enforcement or modification of the existing order. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the Court can modify the existing agreement to include which parent should pay for certain child-related expenses, and in what amounts, or it can enforce its current order and impose sanctions on the parent not fulfilling his or her obligations.
Palatine Child Support Enforcement and Modification Attorney
If you and your ex find yourselves at a standstill regarding payment of child-related expenses, contact Palatine child support attorney Nicholas W. Richardson. With more than a decade worth of experience handling child support modification and enforcement issues, Nicholas W. Richardson will use his mediation skills to try and come to an amicable resolution of the issues before aggressively fighting in Court to modify or enforce the existing order. The office serves clients in Palatine and the surrounding northwest suburbs. Call the office today to schedule a free initial consultation.