What are the advantages of electronic payments?

There are a few different ways to make child support payments; don't assume that you have to write or receive checks in all cases, though this is the traditional method. One other option that has gained a lot of traffic lately is the use of electronic payment methods. You can think of this similarly to online transfers with sites like PayPal or direct deposit transfers made from an employer to an employee.

According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, which is an office under the Administration for Children and Families, some of the main benefits include the following:

-- You can save time when making payments. You don't have to order checks and wait for them to be mailed to you. It also saves time when receiving payments, as the money is in the account quickly and the check is never in the mail.

-- The payer can also save money, as he or she does not have to buy checks, stamps or envelopes. All are small costs, but they can add up over time.

-- The accuracy of the payments has been shown to increase. People are more likely to make mistakes when writing out a check than when typing out the amount on the computer.

-- Online payments prevent major issues, such as a check that gets lost in the mail.

-- Those who pay online are less likely to miss deadlines, as they can pay at the last second with no down time.

-- Above all else, electronic payments have been shown to simply get the money to the families that need it more quickly.

When using online payments in California, make sure you know what steps to take to make sure all transactions are done legally and are accounted for.

Source: Office of Child Support Enforcement, "Electronic Payments," accessed March 24, 2016

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