The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is responsible for enforcing support payments in Ontario. Once an Order is made in Court for child support or spousal support, it is filed with FRO for enforcement unless both parties sign a Notice of Withdrawal indicating that they do not wish to have the Order enforced by FRO.
If you and your spouse get along well and you have determined that providing post-dated cheques or monthly deposits to an account is acceptable, then perhaps you will agree not to involve FRO. Your partner for whatever reason may not wish to have their wages garnisheed at their work. If however there is any doubt at all about receiving payment in a timely fashion, then FRO is the best route for you.
Initially there may be a delay in receiving the support payments. There is a process which must be followed. FRO must receive your Court Order. They will then forward a package to you whether you are the support recipient or the support payor for completion. The package will include information regarding your case number and pin number. Ensure that you keep this information in a safe place. You will need it whenever you contact FRO to determine information concerning your case.
As the support payor, it is your responsibility to pay funds to FRO either through garnishment of your wages or cheques, automatic debits to FRO in advance of your payment so that the payments can then be sent to the recipient.
As the support recipient, it is your responsibility to advise FRO where you want the funds deposited and any information you have on the support payor which will assist them in obtaining payments. If you do not receive a payment, it is necessary to complete a Statement of Arrears.
The best source of information with respect to the Family Responsibility Office and how it works can be found on the website for the Family Responsibility Office. Review:
- “How the Program Works”
- “What We Do”
- Information for Support Payers;
- Information for Support Recipient;
- Information on Ending Support;
- What Do I Do if I lose my PIN Number.
It is important for you to be informed about FRO and how it works for you. Your lawyer is always able to assist you with questions you have regarding the process but you are your best advocate when it comes to dealing with FRO and the enforcement of your support payments.