In Ontario, court-ordered child and spousal support payments are
enforced by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). The mandate of
this provincial watchdog is to collect payments and distribute them
to waiting recipients. But when a payor shirks duty and recipients
are left out of pocket, the FRO has the legal authority to step in
and take action. Our post this week looks at how
the FRO bares its teeth to make payors pay up.
Garnishment – You Can Run, But You Can't Hide
In the best of damage control scenarios, delinquent payors can
contact the FRO to work out a repayment plan. But when a payor
doesn't own up, the FRO can extend its hand into a number of
areas to recoup support arrears. This may include garnishing a
payor's bank accounts, GST, CPP, EI or other government
entitlements, and even lottery winnings (if one is so
Complicating A Payor's Financial Life
Since support payments are treated in the same manner as loans,
the FRO can also report a payor to the credit bureau, impacting his
or her ability to obtain credit. By placing a lien or issuing a
writ of seizure and sale, the FRO can also set up roadblocks for a
payor who wants to dispose of certain types of personal
Loss Of Privileges
The FRO can also work with other governmental agencies to
suspend such privileges as a driver's licence, a Canadian
passport or other navigational licences and certificates.
Professional Impact And Public Shaming
The FRO may report a defaulting payor to his or her professional
or occupational organization, which may result in professional
Following six months of nonpayment, the FRO may resort to
posting photos and personal information on goodparentspay.com, a
site designed to garner the public's help in locating support
Worse comes to worst, the FRO may start a default hearing in
which the payor could end up serving up to 180 days in jail.
Best way to avoid the wrath of the FRO: pay up, in full and on
time each month.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
On March 31, 2014, BC's new Wills, Estates and Succession Act1 ("WESA") will come into force. WESA introduces new protections for beneficiaries of estates that are in danger of being disputed or deemed ineffective by a court.
It is not uncommon for parents to provide monetary gifts to their adult children. Parents may wish to help their child with a down payment on a property, or help pay out their child's existing mortgage.
The sons of the deceased successfully set aside a joint tenancy between the deceased and her daughter on the basis of undue influence despite the fact that the deceased had received independent legal advice.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).