Ontario Spousal Support Enforcement
Your Rights & Options in Enforcing Spousal Support
A court order for spousal support can be enforced through the Family Responsibility Office (FRO), a division of the Ministry of Community and Social Services Ontario. Registration with FRO is the default regime for court orders that contemplate spousal and/or child support, which means that spousal support payments will be sent to FRO by the payor and will be subsequently distributed to the recipient by FRO. Parties that do not wish to have FRO manage their support payments may, on the consent of both parties, opt out and exchange support payments directly.
Spousal support provisions that are part of a separation agreement (or other domestic contract) may be registered with FRO for the purposes of collecting and distributing support payments. Unlike the default regime for court orders, this process is not automatic; parties must register their agreements by filing an Affidavit for Filing (form 26B) with the court and mailing copies of the agreement, affidavit, and FRO registration package to the Family Responsibility Office.
How the Family Responsibility Office Enforces Spousal Support Orders
Section 5 of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act gives FRO the authority “to enforce support orders where the support order and the related support deduction order, if any, are filed in the office and to pay the amounts collected to the person to whom they are owed.”
FRO has the ability to enforce support orders using several mechanisms including:
- Garnishing the payor’s bank accounts;
- Garnishing money received by the payor from the government (tax refunds, benefits);
- Reporting the payor to the credit bureau;
- Suspending the payor’s driver’s licence, passport, and federal licenses (aviation, marine);
- Placing a lien on personal property (including vehicles) owned by the payor;
- Issuing a writ for the seizure and sale of the payor’s owned property;
- Reporting the payor to any professional organizations to which he or she belongs;
- Seizing the payor’s lottery winnings; and
- Initiating a court action resulting in jail time of up to 180 days.
Out of Province Support Orders
Ontario’s Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act is a statute that sets out the process for the enforcement of out-of-province support orders. Even if the payor lives outside of Canada, recipients are generally able to enforce a spousal support order if the payor lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction.
For more information on enforcing spousal support in Ontario, call (905) 581-7222.
Andrew Feldstein Founder
Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.
Daphna Schwartz Lawyer
Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously practising family law in the Barrie area. Her practice includes all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and property issues. Daphna is also qualified to practise Collaborative Family Law.
Anna Troitschanski Lawyer
Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
Nick Slinko Lawyer
Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and Philosophy. Nick graduated in 2007 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. He proceeded to earn a Juris Doctor in Law at the University of Western Ontario in 2011. Nick was Called to the Bar in June of 2012 after completing his Articling term with the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. He became an associate with the firm immediately thereafter.
Veronica Yeung Lawyer
Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.
Veronica attended York University for her undergraduate studies and graduated as a member of the Dean’s Honour Roll when she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Honours Criminology.
Shana Gordon-Katz Lawyer
Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.
Shana attended the University of Western Ontario for her undergraduate studies, where she graduated as the gold medalist of her program, Honors Specialization in Classical Studies.
Rachel Zweig Lawyer
Rachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in April 2021, Rachel was welcomed back to the firm as an Associate.
Prior to completing her legal studies and obtaining her Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa, Rachel obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at Ryerson University with a major in English Literature.
Lauren Harvey Associate Lawyer
Lauren joined Feldstein Family Law Group as a Summer Student in 2020 and returned as an Articling Student in 2021-2022. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in April 2022, Lauren was welcomed back to the firm as an Associate.
Prior to completing her legal studies and obtaining her Juris Doctor at the University of Western Ontario, Lauren obtained her Honour’s Bachelor of Arts Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University majoring in Criminology and minoring in Law and Society.
Quinn Held Associate Lawyer
Quinn spent two years as a Summer Student and then completed her Articling term at a boutique Family Law firm in Orangeville, where she was exposed to various complex Family Law matters. Following her Call to the Bar of Ontario in June 2022, she became an Associate with the Feldstein Family Law Group.
Prior to obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Windsor, Quinn obtained her Honour’s Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Guelph majoring in Criminal Justice and Public Policy and minoring in International Development.