You spend the time and money and finally get a Child Support/ Spousal Support Order or enter into a Separation Agreement only to discover that the other party is refusing to comply. This is frustrating but fear not, the consequences of not following a court order can be serious. If you have a Separation Agreement you should file it at the Ontario or Superior Court of Justice to enforce it’s terms.
In Ontario, parents owed child support have the option of using the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). FRO is a branch of the Ministry of Community and Social Services of Ontario. Section 5 of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996, S.O. 1996, c. 31 gives the FRO the authority “to enforce support orders where the support order and the related support deduction order, if any, are filed in the office and to pay the amounts collected to the person to whom they are owed.”
In other words, FRO has the ability to facilitate child support payments between parties and to take action in the event that payments are not being made. When a court makes an order for child support, it is automatically registered with FRO. Alternatively, if you signed an agreement with the other parent addressing child support, the agreement can be filed with the court and then registered with FRO. You are not required to register your agreement with the Court or use FRO to enforce child support. Parties are welcome to opt out of FRO or choose not to use FRO and take their own steps to enforce child support.
FRO has different ways to collect unpaid support from the payor parent by:
- deduct the payments automatically from their wages or other income, including Income Tax Refunds, Employment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, and Pensions;
- register a charge, or a lien, against their personal property or real estate;
- garnishing their bank account, or garnish up to half of a joint bank account that they have with someone else;
FRO can also put pressure on parents who do not pay by:
- suspending their driver’s licence;
- report them to credit bureaus;
- cancel their passports
If you chose not to use FRO then you can enforce child support by requesting a Default Hearing, Register the support order as a charge on the paying parent’s property; or file a writ against the paying parent’s property.
Contact our office today to find out how we can assist you in enforcing your Court Order.