By: Marco Munoz
When we built DComply, we started with focus groups to ensure that we engineered a mobile app that solved a common and difficult problem for divorced co-parents. We overwhelmingly determined the issue was fact-based tracking and accounting of money and shared parenting expenses. We recognized a multitude of alternatives for making payments such as Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, Google, and even Facebook. Yet, despite all the viable payment options, why is paying for shared expenses so fraught with contention and difficulty for co-parents?
An Easy Payment Method Doesn’t Solve the Problem for Divorced Parents
If my work colleague and I split an after-work dinner, Venmo works great. We were together at the meal, she saw the bill, enjoyed the meal, and expects to pay her portion. In addition, we trust each other, see one and other at work and have no concern about receipts or about non-payment. Shared co-parenting expenses come with extremely different dynamics. These kinds of expenses almost never occur with the other parent present, and therefore, receipts matter. If an ex-spouse sends the other parent a $250 request without a receipt and a credible explanation, it’s likely to get a non-response, be challenged, or at the very least, questioned. Often, there will be some un-welcome back and forth via text and email, a request for a receipt and even an examination of the sender’s judgement over the amount of expense. Ongoing negotiation and discussion ensue over a contentious bill, while other bills remain unpaid. Distrust, miscommunication, long threads of emails, texts and conversations all bury the facts. And this scenario plays out with parents all the time. On average we see DComply users making 5-7 transactions with the other parent per month.
DComply is built for divorced parents. Each time a parent sends a bill to the other parent with DComply, the parent can easily add a receipt from the phone’s camera, categorize the expense and add a memo description. There is no need to try to separately track receipts, emails, and texts associated with each bill one may send to a co-parent. DComply does it all. Most parents who have various expenses try to keep spreadsheets and then have an excruciating monthly or quarterly true-up discussion in which there is inevitable confusion over who has paid what and when. If they can get to agreement, they might Venmo each other a payment. DComply makes the tracking and aggregation of expenses totally transparent and reportable so each parent is not only informed in real time what their share of expenses is, but they can also pay from same app.DComply not only makes payment easy, but also has simplified the process to minimize the antagonizing back and forth miscommunication that occurs between ex-spouses.
Co-Parents Will Have Disagreements Over Child-Related Expenses
While attending a conference for divorce professionals I learned that disagreements over money early in a marriage are a strong predictor that the union might fail. If this is true, why should anyone believe that once divorced that all parties would magically agree on all money decisions, especially child related expenses? Venmo offers no process to solve for money conflicts and is simply a payment logistic. Many parents naively believe that they’ll figure it out, but the disputes get parents stuck in old arguments often leading to all reimbursements stalling.
DComply recognizes that divorced parents have a need for a payment platform for sharing children’s expenses that is accurate, reliable and totally transparent, even when parents disagree on an expense. DComply gives parents the space to move forward on the day to day expenses that they agree upon and isolate challenges so that these disagreements don’t poison the co-parenting relationship. DComply has a three-step dispute process that allows parents to provide explanation, add additional information, and ultimately document the disagreement. Disputes can be forgiven or resolved for smaller amounts throughout the process.
Unfortunately, Divorced Parents Go Back to Family Court All the Time
Venmo transaction histories only tell a small part of the story and that is that money was transferred between two parties. But what were the payments for? Were the payments made on time? Do you have all the receipts to prove you should have billed for the transaction? Do you have all the emails and texts over the disputed bills? Remember, Venmo wasn’t built for low trust relationships and certainly not for the preparation or avoidance of litigation.
DComply was built to keep co-parents out of court over money. The app is a single shared financial transaction repository for co-parents. If parents are using the app for all shared expense billing and payments, one can’t litigate whether bills where sent, receipts were shared or payments occurred, a complete history of all transactions exists. Supported with these reporting details, parents should be able to isolate and resolve issues without ever going to court and keep control over their own destinies.
“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” Orison Swett Marden
For more information go to www.dcomply.com
To download DComply to your iPhone: DComply for iPhone
To download DComply to your Android device: DComply for Android
Marco is a divorced father that found himself in post divorce litigation over shared expenses. Marco realized that litigating over these expenses wouldn’t be necessary if there were a digital fingerprint of two co-parents’ financial relationship. This compelled him to lean into his experience leading sales operations teams and selling financial accounting software to design DComply to be that single source of financial truth post-divorce.