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18 August 2008

In this AskMe about needing checks, no one mentioned child support.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 18 August | 12:17
Huh? 1. That's sort of a weird random example to pick out of the infinite number of things to pay that they didn't mention. 2. You can pay individuals with on-line payments, the bank just mails them a check automatically. We do that all the time.
posted by octothorpe 18 August | 12:47
My friend who gets child support has it automatically loaded onto a debit card. (The payment is automatically taken from the babydaddy's paycheck.)
posted by sperose 18 August | 12:52
My dad used to leave the child support check in the mailbox, and my mom would often ask me to go out and check, and when he missed a month I'd have to be the one to go back in and say "Nope. No money :-(" and that sucked.

So I'm glad that technology is making it more difficult for absent fathers to skip out on their burdens.
posted by cmonkey 18 August | 13:18
I thought it a bit strange since the usual advice concerning support payments is to use a physical check.
posted by Ardiril 18 August | 13:19
So why don't you say so in the thread? It's still open.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 18 August | 13:26
I've never heard that particular advice. Why would a physical check be advantageous?
posted by eamondaly 18 August | 14:36
Because Riverine doesn't have any kids.
(in theory anything you need a check for you can use a money order for, anyways)
posted by kellydamnit 18 August | 15:05
This smells like shit that refuses to be stirred.
posted by mudpuppie 18 August | 16:20
I've never heard that particular advice. Why would a physical check be advantageous?

Presumably, so that the check-writer will have a copy of the cancelled check in case there is any dispute about payment, etc. Of course, this is the case with every electronic check I write - I've been using online bill pay to write my rent checks every month, hedging my bets that a) the bank will not fail to deliver a check, and b) my landlord will not claim, either intentionally or through a bookkeeping error, that I did not send a check. If (b) happens, my bank will still have documentation that the check was deposited. I assume that is the case for child support checks, as well.
posted by muddgirl 18 August | 16:53
The advantage is having the recipient's signature on the back.
posted by Ardiril 18 August | 17:46
That's not an advantage: checks sent via electronic bill pay also require signature.
posted by eamondaly 18 August | 22:47
I've always found it odd that the (supposedly) most technologically advanced nation in the country still seems to use physical pieces of paper send by snail-mail to pay bills and that they seem to be universally accepted. Here in Australia, cheques are almost unheard-of and vendors of all kinds accept EFTPOS as the standard payment method, or credit card at the worst (EFTPOS machines that connect via the cellular network are universal in taxis, for example). In fact, the government actively discourages the use of cheques by charging an additional tax on all transactions from bank accounts that have a cheque facility. I haven't owned a chequebook in five years or so and have never come across an occasion where I missed them. It's on-line all the way for me.
posted by dg 19 August | 16:51
While I'm at it, I find it bizarre that cheques seem to be sent back to you after they have been processed (is that correct?). That doesn't happen here, although you can get a copy of a processed cheque by paying your bank a huge fee and waiting half a lifetime.

I have more comfort in being able to track payments when I've paid them on-line anyway - you have a record of what you paid, when and to whom and you don't have to worry about maintaining those records yourself. There doesn't seem to be the stigma attached to giving out your bank account numbers here that there is elsewhere - companies almost always include their bank account details on invoices, for example, so people can pay by direct deposit. They get their money faster and it's pretty hard to fudge details of when you paid, the way it is with cheques, which almost nobody seems to accept from individuals these days anyway.
posted by dg 19 August | 17:03
The distance between men's nipples is eleven inches. || 300 dollars?