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Software programs help parents track child support spending

When couples with children divorce, one of the spouses generally is ordered to pay child support. However, while the amount of child support is specified in the court order, how it will be spent is another issue.

The parent paying the child support may have little or no say in exactly how that money or additional funds are used for the child. This can lead to additional battles between the divorced spouses and sometimes bring them back to court.

Fortunately, there are apps for that. A number of computer programs have been developed to help parents, whether divorced or never married, to track how money is spent on their children. Our Family Wizard has 50,000 subscribers, and that number is growing by some 50 percent annually. In fact, courts can order the program for high-conflict divorce cases. Other programs include DivorceLog, 2Houses and SupportPay. Some parents use Google Dogs to share financial information, including receipts, with one another.

Many people who prefer not to communicate any more than necessary with the other parent find these programs a good way to stay informed without telephone calls and emails. As one parent who uses SupportPay explains, it "takes all the emotion out of the conversation." However, they still provide visibility. Parents paying child support who believe their money could be better spent may go back to court to seek to modify their payments.

Of course, it's always best when divorced North Dakota parents have a relationship where they can discuss issues involving their children face-to-face. However, having a program where they can place receipts and track purchases involving their children can be helpful for both parents.

Source: The Huffington Post, "These Apps Could Help You And Your Ex Avoid Child Support Fights" Beth Pinsker, Reuters, Feb. 04, 2015

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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