***The information provided in this article is meant to be used for informative purposes only and may, over time become outdated. To ensure accurate and up-to-date information, contact Murray Ralston Lawyers, located in Barrie and North Bay, and we would be happy to assist you.***

If you have a child support order or spousal support order made by a court in Ontario the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) will receive a copy of that order and support deduction order and enforce the amount owing under the support order. The FRO can also enforce child support obligations arising from written separation agreements if the separation agreement is filed with the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice (Family Court). The FRO does not enforce child custody or access issues.

The FRO can collect court-ordered support payments and any past amounts owing from the payor directly or from the employer of the payor. In addition, the FRO can enforce any amounts unpaid any of the following income sources:

  • Income tax refunds;
  • Employment income benefits;
  • Bank account;
  • Any assets; and
  • Lottery winnings.

In addition, the FRO can take the following actions to encourage payment:

  • Suspending the payor’s passport;
  • Reporting the payor to the credit bureau;
  • Suspending any licenses issued by the Federal government;
  • Suspending the payor’s driver’s license; and
  • Forcing the payor to court in a default hearing.

The support payor and the recipient of the funds may agree to opt out of the FRO in writing. To do this the payor and recipient must file the Notice of Withdrawal form with the FRO. Even if the payor is in arrears, the recipient (and the recipient alone) may withdraw from the FRO is she/he so wishes. In order to withdraw the recipient would file a Notice by Support Recipient of Unilateral Withdrawal.

If you withdraw from the FRO, there will be a fee of $50 payable by each of the recipient and payor if you later wish to re-open a closed file.

If your case is filed with the FRO make all support payments through the FRO. Direct payments to the support recipient can result in the FRO charging the payor $100 to update its records when a payment is not made through the FRO office. The FRO may refuse to enforce payments if the recipient often accepts direct payment from the support payor.

Still have questions?

If you still have questions regarding support payments, contact Murray Ralston Lawyers. We would be happy to assist you in any way possible.

*** The information above is not intended to be legal advice. Each situation is different and the information provided above may not provide you with all law applicable to your facts. To ensure you are properly protected under the law applicable to your facts, please contact Murray Ralston Law for a free consultation.