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Making child support easier for San Mateo County parents

Many local parents will soon have an easier and cheaper way to make their child support payments. According to the communications director for the San Mateo County Human Services Agency, the electronic funds transfer service company Moneygram is behind this new initiative. The spokesperson says that Moneygram is significantly reducing its fees for parents using the service to pay monthly child-support bills.

Parents now using the service will pay a flat fee of only $1.99. In the past, parents looking to use Moneygram to send a $500 monthly child support payment would have paid $45. California is just one of several states that is now participating in the new EFT program.

The spokesperson for San Mateo Child Support says that the county now estimates there are 8,000 parents who are eligible to receive child support payments each month. Somewhere around 5,000 parents who are considered noncustodial are believed to live outside the county or even outside of the state. The spokesperson says this program is beneficial because those noncustodial parents can send child-support payments using the Moneygram service from anywhere in the U.S.

In particular, the Moneygram service favors distant noncustodial parents who pay with cash. Those parents often face a challenge because cash payments must be delivered to a county office. The spokesperson says that many of these parents don't have bank accounts and paying by credit card or sending in a check is simply not an option for them.

Noncustodial parents who pay child support should know that in some cases, their child support obligations can be modified. A disability or illness that may prevent those parents from earning income can be grounds to request a child support modification from the court. If successful, a petition to modify an existing child support order may result in a significant reduction in required payments.

Source: San Francisco Examiner, "County parents have easier child-support payment option under new program" Brendan P. Bartholomew, Feb. 04, 2015

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