When parents in Michigan are both careful to provide their monthly portion of the child support obligation under the state’s income shares model, it may not be necessary to keep track of child support payments other than through bank accounts or direct pay documents. However, when one parent is not paying his or her portion of the child support obligation and the other parent needs to take child support collection actions, or a parent has been accused of failing to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation, it can be extremely important to have a clear record and evidence of child support payments that have been made. How can you keep track of child support payments? Our Michigan child support lawyers have a few different options that may help.
Make Payments Electronically
If you are concerned about the other parent making allegations that you have not made your child support payments, the best way to ensure that you keep track of payments is to make them electronically. Electronic payments can be made through the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MISDU), which then keeps track of payments made. Even electronic payments made through your bank can be tracked easily, and your bank may allow you to create folders to electronically house receipts of payment transfers made for child support.
Keep an Electronic Spreadsheet
Regardless of whether child support payments are made electronically or by other means, and whether you are the parent making or receiving the payment in question, it is a good idea to keep your own records of payments made and received. You can create an electronic spreadsheet that saves automatically in a cloud-based account like Dropbox. You can even set it up so that you and your ex can both enter information about regular child support payments made, additional child care costs paid, and any remaining balance that is due.
Use an App
There are also apps that can allow you to track child support payments. SupportPay, for example, is a commonly used app that you can install on your iPhone or Android to keep track of basic child support payments made, child support expenses paid, and any other monetary exchanges related to parenting and support. While you might not be used to using an app for child support, it can be extremely helpful and can allow you to quickly identify any money that you owe or that is owed for a monthly child support obligation. For parents who are co-parenting, apps like SupportPay can also allow them to gain a clear understanding of how they are sharing other child expenses, such as child care or extracurricular costs.
Avoid Making Payments in Cash
If you want to effectively track child support payments, it is also important to avoid making payments in cash. For parents who earn cash wages, it may be more complicated to take cash to a bank and receive a cashier’s check or a money order, yet it is important to put in the extra time to ensure that you have a record of payments made. Even if you are keeping track of cash payments on an app or spreadsheet, you will not have clear evidence of payments. Cashier’s checks and money orders will come with a receipt or other proof that you can retain for your records.
Contact a Michigan Child Support Lawyer
If you have questions about keeping track of child support payments or need assistance with collections, our Michigan child support attorneys can assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today.