A friend called me yesterday with understandable complaints about an episode that occurred when he was dropping his daughter off at his ex’s home. As if dropping your beloved child off before you’re ready to let her go for the week isn’t enough, his ex greeted him with some new state child-support form in hand. She, apparently, had been doing some creative math.
Wouldn’t you love it if your child support or maintenance actually paid you back?
After empathetically listening to him go on for a while about the many things wrong about the situation (the fact that his ex seems to be in no hurry to finish her now eight-year college odyssey, the feeling that he has somehow been relegated to a breathing, hard-working cash machine, the strange, ever-changing calculations that keep him guessing as to his financial plight) and much more.
Then, after our discussion I asked him if he wrote her checks for his child-support payment.
“Of course,” he said, proud of the paper trail and records that were in place to document his timely payments. But, I was thinking of an interview we had done a few months before with a service that offered men an intelligent alternative to simply handing over a large part of their paychecks. Essentially here’s how it worked, (I say “worked” because they appear to have closed up shop) they coordinated and processed payment between you and your ex. You paid on your credit card, leaving a paper trail for each and every charge, racking up all the bonuses, cash back allowances, frequent flier miles and any other perks that credit cards offer their users. In return, the processor, charged you a small fee.
But, who wants to pay a penny more that will in the end negate any bonuses you might incur? Perhaps this is why the payment processor seems to have gone out of business. Probably because smart dads may have found the easy way around the processor. Here’s how it works:
Paypal. You set up your account. She sets up her account. Attach it to the credit card of your choosing and whenever a payment comes due, it can be handled with a click. Et voila: paper trail, timely payment, bonuses, bonuses, bonuses, minimal contact, no postage, and did I forget to mention: bonuses.