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What should I know about cash payments after divorce?

Article provided by Arthur S. Kallow

It is not uncommon for a divorced parent to provide an ex with cash. The parent may intend the funds to go towards the children’s needs or whatever the other parent deems appropriate for the household. This could be the result of a court-ordered agreement or simply the desire to help your family. Whatever the motivation, it is important to tread carefully when giving an ex a payment in cash form.

What should I know about cash payments?

A word of caution about cash payments. They may seem helpful, but they can come with unforeseen issues. My advice is not to make cash payments. There is the possibility that the parent receiving these payments may claim the paying parent failed to provide adequate financial support. As discussed in Fathers’ Rights, this can happen even to those who believe they have a healthy and trusting relationship with the other parent.

Things can change. A future event could fuel a feeling of resentment. Whatever the catalyst for the allegations, it is important for the parent who is providing cash payments to take steps to protect themselves.

How can I protect myself if I provide cash payments?

Unfortunately, the parent who pays cash will bear the burden of proving they made the payment. Three ways to protect yourself include:

  • Written record. Keep an excel sheet, journal, diary, or other written record of every cash payment. Include the date and amount.
  • Evidence. Hang on to any receipts or canceled checks as further evidence to support the written record. Also, take screenshots of all p2p payments.
  • Receipt from the other parent. You could ask the other parent to provide a receipt to confirm they received these funds. If having them actually sign a note seems uncomfortable, consider sending an email that discusses the cash provided and ask if it met the intended goal. This could be presented as a simple check-in and supportive message instead of an unofficial receipt. Keep a copy of the ex’s confirmation so it can serve both goals.

Having this information will help to build a defense to any allegations that you failed to support your family. This can help you to move forward logically and reduce the risk of a frustrating, emotional battle over finances with the other parent – ultimately helping to better ensure your children are isolated from the whole incident.

Arthur S Kallow is an attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd.

Jeffery M. Leving is the founder and president of The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd., and co-authored the first real Illinois joint custody law and other laws. In addition to “How to Be a Good Divorced Dad,” he is the author of “Fathers’ Rights” and “Divorce Wars.” To learn more about Jeffery M. Leving and his latest court victories, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and view his videos on YouTube.