Dealing with an ex-spouse who fails to fulfill their child support obligations can be a challenging situation, regardless of your relationship status. It's crucial to remember that your child has a legal right to receive support, and your ex-spouse is legally bound to provide those payments. If you find yourself in a position where you are not receiving the necessary support, here are some steps you can take.
In Ontario, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is often the first avenue to explore when seeking enforcement of child support payments. The FRO can take action if you have a court order in place, a government notice of calculation or recalculation, or a separation agreement registered with the FRO. Meeting any of these requirements opens various options for the FRO to collect payments from your ex-spouse without any cost to you.
The FRO may employ the following methods to secure the payments:
Deducting earnings directly from your ex-spouse's paycheck
Deducting earnings from other sources like employment insurance, pension income, and tax refunds
Seizing funds from their bank account
Garnishing lottery winnings
Suspending their driver's license or passport
Reporting the non-payment to the credit bureau
Placing liens against their properties
However, it's important to note that if your ex-spouse fails to make support payments, you cannot deny them parenting time with your child. The two matters must be addressed separately.
If the FRO is unable to enforce payments through the methods mentioned above, you may need to consider seeking legal recourse. Your ex-spouse could be found in contempt of child support by a court, potentially resulting in fines or even jail time for non-payment. While courts can provide similar remedies as the FRO, it's crucial to understand that pursuing legal action can be a time-consuming and costly process. Our team at INB Family Law is here to provide you with the necessary expertise and support in navigating child support issues. If you're facing difficulties due to non-payment of support by your ex-spouse, don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 905-215-1905.