Technology has infiltrated just about every aspect of life imaginable. This is perhaps particularly true in our region of the country, where technology dominates the business landscape.
Online applications and mobile devices help us with our personal banking, shopping and business endeavors. There are even online tools that offer the hope of simplifying divorce -- something that should not be undertaken without the help of an experienced attorney. And now, there's even a service to help ease the tensions that are associated with the aftermath of divorce -- such as fractious disputes between exes over child support.
As any parent on a co-parenting arrangement likely can appreciate, the couple's relationship doesn't just vanish once divorce papers have been signed. Where children are a factor, former spouses can wind up at odds -- and often the issue is about money, which might have been a sore spot in the marriage to begin with.
That's where the founder of the service SupportPay says her application fills a need. Sheri Atwood says her objective is to provide an online channel in which former spouses can track child support expenses and coordinate their spending. Because it's an online platform, it is meant to serve as neutral ground.
Atwood, who is a divorced parent herself, says she got her inspiration for the service from her own experience. She observes that in a typical divorce, child support basics such as food and shelter get covered by the set monthly payment. But she notes the courts often directs the parents to share costs related to daily living expenses, such as haircuts, school fees and medical bills.
She says each one of the categories can become a feuding field and the fights often launch when children are exchanged as part of child custody arrangements -- making them witnesses to the disputes. SupportPay looks to move matters to the online arena where tools can be found to help resolve issues and ease tensions. There are even checks and balances in the system to provide assurances that the expenses recorded were for the children.
Atwood publicly announced the launch of the subscription product in October. What do you think? Will it fly?
Source: Xconomy.com, "Using Tech to De-Stress Child Support," Bernadette Tansey, Nov. 5, 2013