It is safe to say that it is in the best interest of Texas (and likely all states) to make it easier as possible for parents to comply with the terms of a divorce. No one is served by complexity or bureaucracy, and this certainly applies to anyone making court-ordered child support payments. Given the recent growth in ways to transfer money (along with the enthusiastic public acceptance of these applications), governments across the country are getting on board. The Attorney General of Texas recently announced additional electronic methods for parents to fulfill their child support obligations. Today, we will summarize these new changes.
The More Options, the Better
Generally speaking, having more options for parents to make their child support payments (on time and in the correct amount) is very desirable from the perspective of the state. The Federal Government has passed legislation requiring states to use formulas for setting child support. The idea is not just to provide for basic needs, but to maintain the child’s living standards. There are no attempts in this calculation to punish either parent for two main reasons. First, no one is served by having one or the other parent living in poverty, and second, such a situation could not help but cause distress for the child.
New Electronic Payment Options
In Texas, parents may now use Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay to make their monthly child support payments through the state’s Smart e-Pay system. To use this system, the following information is needed:
- First and Last Name
- Social Security Number
- Address (for first-time registrants)
- 10-Digit case Number and/or Cause Number
- Valid Email Address
Using Smart e-Pay, child support payments can be made online, over the phone, or at a kiosk (use this link to view kiosk locations in Southeast Texas). While there may be fees applicable to these transactions, they are secure and a record is maintained of all transactions for each payer. This detail can be useful if any questions or disagreements arise about timing, receipt, or payment amounts. The MoneyGram service can also be used to pay child support obligations – check here to view process times and fees for this service.
For questions on using these services, please feel free to review the website for the Attorney General of Texas, or call 855-853-8286. As you know, one of our goals at the Essex Law Firm is to be sure our clients (and prospective clients) understand what to expect during divorce proceedings. If you have any questions on child support or would like more information, please feel free to contact the Essex Firm for an in-person or virtual consultation.