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Sheri Atwood, Founder and CEO, SupportPay

SupportPay: Making Modern Family Life Easier by Helping Parents to Manage Child Support

Modern family life is hard enough. Especially divorced families have to face several challenges, child support being one of them. However, there are solutions on the market that focus on other aspects of divorce – such as communication, visitation, and custody issues – but the financial aspect has been largely unaddressed till now. Since child support is not just a single monthly payment but also a broad collection of shared expenses, parents must continually manage, communicate and negotiate over child-related expenses. The entire process is complex, time-consuming, and very stressful. SupportPay seeks to eliminate child support conflict and enable collaboration with an easy-to-use online application, providing both parents transparency while saving time and money.
SupportPay, launched in 2013, is the first-ever automated child support payment platform, poised to transform the complex, time-consuming and stressful process that impacts nearly 300 million parents, exchanging more than $900 billion in child support and child expenses worldwide. SupportPay’s Founder and CEO, Sheri Atwood, came up with the idea for SupportPay because she believed that there had to be a better way to provide support to the children.
Changing the Way Families Manage Money
With SupportPay, today’s modern families can spend less time managing and arguing about child support, expenses, and alimony and more time focused on raising happy, healthy children. SupportPay wants to make family life easier by changing the way families manage money across households – from a conflict-ridden, time-consuming and stressful event to a collaborative process between family members. Its ultimate mission is to get children the financial support they deserve from both parents.
There is no other solution that handles child support payments along with all of the other expenses associated with raising a child, such as childcare, education, extracurricular activities, doctors’ visits, etc. Some state governments offer an online tool to pay child support only- the once-a-month required payment. These are typically very antiquated if they exist at all and again don’t cover the myriad of other shared expenses that parents living apart need to coordinate each month. SupportPay seeks to use technology to automate anything that is done manually while hiring a team of people that are passionate about its mission and strive every day to meet its customer needs in the most resourceful way possible.
Making Whole Process of Payments Transparent
As the only payment platform that manages child support, shares child expenses directly between parents, and manages spousal support, SupportPay allows parents to track costs, send payments to each other, and avoid disputes by making the whole process transparent. Its online platform provides a shared log of receipts too, which helps ensure that money is going where it’s supposed to go from the very first transaction.
Everything is stored in one place via the web platform or mobile app so parents can easily access anything they may need. Parents have a complete history of all child support payments made or received. Because SupportPay does all of the notifications and reminders, parents can worry less about uncomfortable financial conversations. The other great factor of this platform is the privacy and security of the app. Parents never have to feel the stress of data being leaked or someone sharing their information.
Another factor that sets apart and makes SupportPay the preferred choice is the fact that many of its own employees have been in these parents’ shoes- either having divorced parents or as divorcees themselves. The ability to directly relate, empathize, and understand its customers on a deeper level truly sets SupportPay apart.
Saving Time, Money and Resources with Digital Platform
Sheri expresses that as soon as Covid-19 hit, daily registrations tripled! She anticipates that the market will continue to show this trend long after the pandemic passes. People are realizing the ease that comes with technology due to the effects the pandemic has had, and with a platform like SupportPay, parents are realizing that they don’t always have to show up in court for various payment issues.
Furthermore, this company benefits family lawyers. When they have their clients’ documentation organized and easily accessible through a digital platform like SupportPay, their court time, money, and other resources are saved. All of which have become increasingly important during covid-19.
Making Child Support a Seamless Experience
A majority of SupportPay’s employees have/are single parents or have directly experienced the impact of divorce somehow in their lives. Having this unique insider perspective pushes SupportPay all that extra mile to make parents’ and children’s lives easier with Supportpay, starting with ensuring all children get the financial support they deserve. SupportPay works hard to achieve its mission and vision because so many of them have been on the other end, in a world without Supportpay struggling to make child support a seamless experience.
SupportPay’s contact-free system provides a reliable platform to receive support without worry, whether parents are paying support directly between each other or through state agencies.
Sharing Wisdom with Others and Expanding Use of Technology
Sheri hopes to be an inspiration to other women and young girls out there with dreams that seem far out of reach because, despite all she has been through, she was still able to persevere. Sheri has learned so much over the past several years about what it means to be a female founder, and she hopes to be able to share that wisdom, so others don’t repeat the mistakes that she made early on in her career.
In the future, Sheri would love to create or be part of an investment firm that is focused and dedicated to funding female entrepreneurs. After all, female entrepreneurs still only continue to receive 2.2 percent of venture capital and make up less than five percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Supporting women in business is a cause that Sheri will always hold very close to her heart.
A Concluding Statement
“With technology constantly evolving, it’s extremely important for the organization to be nimble with our tech and customer support. In the near future, my company and I are looking to expand to use the same technology to help siblings and other family members who are providing financial support for their aging parents. Together, SupportPay will be the de facto standard for families managing finances across households,” concludes Sheri.