Enforcing Spousal Support Protecting Your Family's Interests for Over 25 Years

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.

Meet Our Dedicated Team of Lawyers

Over a Century of Collective Experience
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    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.

  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
    Deleta Grandy

    Lawyer

    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

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    Jeff Hart

    Lawyer

    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
    Daphna Schwartz

    Lawyer

    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
    Nick Slinko

    Lawyer

    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
    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.
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
    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.

  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
    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.

  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
    Shazia Hafiji

    Lawyer

    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
    Lucy D'Ercole

    Lawyer

    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
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    Joy Pura

    Lawyer

    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
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