I cannot say how many times a client has told me they paid the opposing party using cash. In family law scenarios, this can lead to a huge can of worms. Where both parties get along and acknowledge the cash payments, there’s no issue. On the flip side, where the parties don’t always see eye-to-eye, it is really easy for one party to claim they paid cash when in fact they paid nothing. Similarly, it’s also really easy for one party to claim they didn’t receive any support when in fact they received cash.
The problem with cash is that it’s not traceable and nearly impossible to prove whether or not support was paid. This issue applies equally to child support and spousal support.
I’ve had dozens of files where one party claims support was paid in cash and the other party denies receiving cash. When dealing with a retroactive claim for support, this can be especially difficult because we are dealing with time frames that can go back several years. As time goes on, memories fade and paper trails are harder to find. The situation becomes a he said – she said and little more than a guessing game for the lawyers and judges who have to sort the issue out.
It is so easy to avoid this type of issue. I tell all my clients to pay support by cheque or e-transfer. By using one of these two methods, you will always have a paper trail (or be able to get it from the bank if you’re not a good record keeper). This way, you will avoid the he said – she said scenario described above. Whether you are the payor or the recipient of support, make sure it’s traceable! I cannot over-emphasize the Importance of this.