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Hello. My name is Jeffrey Hart and I am a lawyer at the Feldstein Family Law Group. In today’s video, I will be discussing Refraining Orders against the Family Responsibility Office. For the sake of efficiency, I will refer to the Family Responsibility Office, or “F.R.O.” as “FRO” for the rest of this video.
Refraining Orders are court orders that state that FRO must wait (or, “refrain”) before taking away a support payor’s driver’s license because the payor has not paid the support that has been ordered by the Court. Refraining Orders are governed by the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act.
There are rigid rules in place for refraining orders, as follows:
First, the support payor can only get a refraining order within 30 days of his or her driver’s license being suspended. If the payor does not bring a motion requesting a Refraining Order within the 30 days, he or she cannot get a Refraining Order.
Second, a Refraining Order can only last a maximum of 6 months. The court may only extend that period by a further 6 months once, except where the support payor has brought a motion to change support.
In order to get a Refraining Order, the payor must bring a Motion to Change his or her support obligation and be able to prove that he is she is not able to pay the support under the order that is in place. It is not enough to simply bring a Motion to Change before the Court. Has your income changed? Have the children’s arrangements changed? Have there been any other changes that the court would consider material changes in circumstances? In other words, significant changes that materially affect the issue of support.
A support payor must file a financial statement and all required attachments to the financial statement with the Motion seeking the Refraining Order to show the court that his or her financial circumstances justify the court allowing the payor to keep his or her license while a final arrangement is being worked out. It is therefore very important to have your financial information up to date.
The Court can only make one Refraining Order per written notice from FRO that a driver’s license is going to be suspended. Therefore, if the payor does not pay the arrears or does not bring a Motion to Change in the time prescribed and one extension, and does not take the appropriate steps, FRO can proceed to suspend the payor’s driver’s license.
To conclude, you are able to obtain one Refraining Order lasting up to 6 months and one extension of a further 6 months (for a total of 12 months) to get a new support order, which is accomplished by bringing a Motion to Change the original support order.
For more information regarding Refraining Order motions and the procedures involved in obtaining one, please visit our website at www.separation.ca or contact us for a consultation at 905-415-1636.
Thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time!!