Q: If I have an order for support, how can I ensure I receive the ordered payments from my former spouse?
A: Any order for support made at court, whether child or spousal support, and whether or not it was an order made on consent of the parties, is automatically sent to the Family Responsibility Office (“FRO”) for enforcement, i.e. collection. The FRO is a government body that enforces court-ordered support. There are a number of things that the FRO can do to try and ensure payment is made. It can, among other things, garnish the payor’s wages, garnish the payor’s bank account, garnish any monies coming to the payor from the government of Canada (e.g. income tax returns, EI benefits, CPP benefits, etc.), put a lien on the payor’s real property, suspend the payor’s driver’s license, and, in the worst cases, ask the court to put the payor in jail for up to 180 days. If you have a separation agreement that provides for child and/or spousal support, and the support is not being paid, then you can file the agreement with the FRO, and the FRO will collect the support for you just like it can for court-ordered support. The FRO will continue to try and collect for you until all arrears are paid in full. We are a full service firm that does a lot of family law. We are happy to meet you for a free consultation about your matter at one of our three offices, including 8 Guelph Street, Georgetown, in the Lounsbury Life & Group Insurance Benefits building.