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.