If a support order is not clearly written or lacks important information, we may not be able to enforce it. Here are some tips to help you draft a support order.

Do:

  • Use the standard terms for support orders set out in Ontario Regulation 182/08 made under the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996.
  • Quantify the dollar amount, frequency and start date of the support payments.
  • Specify an obligation to "pay", rather than "share" special expenses.
  • Quantify the expenses.
  • If costs are awarded, make sure the portion "related to support and maintenance" is specified in the order so that we can enforce those costs as "support".
  • Specify the amount or portion of arrears that is owed to a social service agency, as well as any amount owed to the support recipient.
  • Include support termination dates, where appropriate.
  • When seeking a global child support order, if appropriate, specify the dollar amount that will be payable for the remaining children if one child's support payments will end at a future date.
  • Set out special expenses (e.g., medical, child care, extracurricular expenses) in the support order either as a fixed amount, or as an expense which must be claimed on a sworn statement of arrears submitted by the support recipient. Otherwise, these expenses will not be enforceable by FRO.

When changing a support order make sure you:

  • fix the amount of any arrears and include an arrears payment schedule
  • start the new support accrual on the same day of the month or week as the prior order. This will avoid a double accrual at the month/week of the change.
  • include any terms of the prior order that affect the support, for example, termination date
  • include reference to the annual obligation to make income disclosure, where child support is to be paid, as required by the Child Support guidelines. For example, for as long as child support is to be paid, the payor and recipient, if applicable, must provide updated income disclosure to the other party each year, within 30 days of the anniversary of this order in accordance with section 24.1 of the Child Support Guide. For more information visit the website of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Don't:

  • Refer to support being determined or changed annually as "in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines”. We cannot recalculate support in this manner. As a result, we may not be able to collect support.
  • Include in the body of the order any terms about withdrawal from FRO by the parties. Use the appropriate Notice of Withdrawal form.
  • Include support provisions which are conditional on certain prerequisites which cannot be determined on the face of the order.
  • Include foreign currency amounts in Canadian orders.
  • Specify cost-of-living provisions for child support. They are not permitted under the Child Support Guidelines and we cannot enforce them.

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