He promised to pay regularly and on time, and she agreed that he could pay her directly. She thought the money might come faster that way, without the hassle of setting up the registry account.
Now things were adrift. He lost his job for a while, and child support payments became sporadic. He said he had bought her groceries, but there was no accountability for anything. I asked them if they would now agree to have all payments made through the Family Support Registry (FSR).
The Family Support Registry is good, even for parents who pay regularly. I said, next time you think groceries, pay through the FSR. If you do that, then you have a third party accounting for every penny paid, so that nobody can say that you failed to pay, when indeed you did.
There are many misconceptions about the FSR. For starters, it is not that same bit of government as your local county child support enforcement unit: it is run by the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Paying into the FSR is also different from having your wages garnished, and you can just write them a check, so that it can be quite private. In mediating a resolution, this seemed to be the clincher, although I knew the court would almost certainly require payments to go via the FSR.
In court, there is a special rule that lets FSR records come into evidence easily, which makes proving who has or has not paid much simpler. The accounting by FSR is that of an honest broker, which cuts down on those "he said she said" disputes based on handwritten notes on scraps of paper.
I can't say they lived happily ever after, but their accounts were now open and easy to see.