All child support and spousal support orders made in Ontario are automatically filed with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). FRO processes child and spousal support payments to help ensure that the support gets paid every month. FRO only follows what is stated in the Order or Domestic Contract filed in Court.
When a court orders a person to make regular support payments, the court also makes a support deduction order. The court sends the support deduction order to FRO and FRO writes to the person’s employer (or other income source) telling the employer to deduct the amount of the support from the person’s regular pay cheque. The employer must then send the money to FRO. FRO, in turn, sends the money to the person entitled to the support under the court order.
If your support arrangements are set out in a domestic contract (marriage contract, separation agreement, cohabitation agreement or a paternity agreement), rather than a court order, you can still have your support payments processed through FRO. To do so, you must file your domestic contract with the court according to the procedure in the Family Law Act and the rules of court.
Some people do not want their support payments processed through FRO. If both the payor (the person who owes the support) and the recipient (the person who is to receive the support) agree, they can withdraw from FRO. They can do so by sending a Notice of Withdrawal, signed by both of them, telling FRO that they would like to withdraw their support order, or domestic contract.
In extreme high conflict custody cases, a dynamic develops whereby one of the parents sets out to sever the children’s ties to the other parent. This is referred to as “parental alienation”. Five types of parental behaviour are hallmarks of parental alienation syndrome:
- Rejecting: The favoured parent rejects the child’s need for a relationship with both parents. The child fears abandonment and rejection by the favoured parent if he or she expresses positive feelings about the rejected parent;
- Terrorizing: The favoured parent bullies the child into being terrified of the rejected parent, and punishes the child if he or she expresses positive feelings about the rejected parent;
- Ignoring: The favoured parent withholds love and attention if the child expresses positive feelings about the rejected parent;
- Isolating: The favoured parent prevents the child from participating in normal social activities with the rejected parent and that parent’s friends and family;
- Corrupting: The favoured parent encourages the child to lie and be aggressive toward the rejected parent. In very serious cases, the favoured parent recruits the child to assist in tricks and manipulative behaviour intended to harm the rejected parent.
The Children’s Law Reform Act reinforces the idea that maximum contact with both parents is generally in the best interests of children, and that parents have an obligation not only to allow access, but to facilitate that access. If you fear that you are a victim of parental alienation contact me today at 647-428-3919 to learn your options.
The word “custody” essentially refers to the parent’s right to make decisions for the child, as well as the parent’s obligations to that child. Issues concerning child custody can be one of the most important challenges during a divorce. Whenever possible parents should try to reach an agreement regarding issues concerning custody and access. This is the least disruptive and least expensive route to ensure a smooth custodial transition for children.
However, if parents cannot come to an agreement, they can commence an Application in Court. There are different types of custody arrangements; sole custody, joint custody and split custody.
When deciding custody, residence, and access it’s not about the parent’s right but what is in the best interest of the child.
Many factors are considered, some of which include:
· who has been the main caregiver for the children;
· how you and your partner plan to care for the children in the future;
· who can offer the most stability for the children;
· how each of you will help the children maintain their relationships with the other parent.
There is still an assumption that only a Mother will get custody of the child. This is untrue; the Children’s Law Reform Act states that the father and the mother of a child are equally entitled to custody of the child.
If you are facing a divorce and have children, contact me by calling 647-428-3919 to learn more about how you can protect and maintain your parental rights.