In this issue of the Family Responsibility Office’s new bulletin, we focus on the global reach of FRO’s work. Through the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, FRO can collect child and spousal support payments when a payor or recipient lives outside Ontario.
We’ve recently simplified many of our online fact sheets to clearly explain how the Family Responsibility Office works. They describe everything from how to make a payment to how FRO uses the Good Parents Pay website.
To learn more, visit our website at www.ontario.ca/fro. There you’ll find up-to-date news, downloadable forms and information on everyone’s responsibilities.
If you believe that you are no longer responsible for paying support, contact FRO.
You should know that Ontario laws do not set automatic end dates for child or spousal support payments. For example, support does not automatically end when a child turns 18. Support orders and domestic contracts, however, may set a date or an event called a “terminating event” that will end the support payments. A terminating event could be a child’s graduation from college or university, for instance.
If your support order or domestic contract does not say when support payments end, you and the recipient must both agree on an end date. If you and the recipient cannot agree on when to end support, you can go to court and have a judge decide.
Between January 1 and March 31, 2011, the Family Responsibility Office:
Myth: When a payor moves out of Ontario, his or her support order is no longer enforced.
Fact: If the payor moves to another province, FRO can ask the province to enforce the support order. If the payor moves to another country, and we have an enforcement agreement with them, FRO can ask the government of that country to enforce the support order.
FRO has enforcement agreements with every Canadian province and territory, as well as 31 countries. These different governments are known as ‘reciprocating jurisdictions’. Visit our website for a list of the reciprocating jurisdictions FRO works with.
Did you know?
The Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002 allows FRO to enforce support orders involving Ontarians and people who live outside Ontario in reciprocating jurisdictions.
Through this act, FRO can:
To learn more, visit our website: www.ontario.ca/fro.
In January 2010, FRO registered a case for a recipient that lived outside Ontario. The other government asked FRO to collect the recipient’s ongoing child support of $700 per month and arrears of over $4,000. Here’s how our timely enforcement actions and strong follow-up paid off for this recipient.
1. First, we contacted the payor, informing him or her that the case was now registered with FRO.
2. When FRO didn’t receive payment after three months, we sent the payor a Voluntary Arrears Payment Schedule (VAPS) letter. A VAPS allows a payor to repay arrears over time while paying ongoing support.
3. We waited the required 30 days for the payor to respond to the VAPS letter, and then reviewed the case. After confirming that no payments had ever been made, we took the next step in enforcement and issued a ‘First Notice of Intention to Suspend a Driver’s Licence’ to the payor.
Within two weeks, FRO received a $20,000 payment from the payor. We sent the recipient a lump sum payment for arrears and the extra money is covering ongoing monthly support payments.
In July 2010, a client wrote: “Once again, thank you so much for all you do. You truly make a difference in people’s every day lives. My child will be studying Political Science and Law in the fall with hopes to make a difference for others as well. Without your help, this would have never been possible.”
You can apply for a support order if your ex-partner lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction. Visit our website for a list of reciprocating jurisdictions.
To start the application, complete and swear a support application on the standard form used in Ontario. You can download the application forms and a guide to help you fill them out from our website: www.ontario.ca/fro. You can also find the application forms at a court, Family Law Information Centre, or Legal Aid office.
Forward the completed support application form to:
Family Responsibility Office,
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Unit
P.O. Box 640
FRO will send your sworn application to the payor's jurisdiction, where the payor will be served with a court hearing and decision. If the reciprocating jurisdiction grants the support order, FRO will send a copy to you.
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