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My partner isn't paying spousal support. What should I do?

Question
My partner isn't paying spousal support. What should I do?

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Reviewed: 
September, 2015
Answer

Even if you have a separation agreement or court order about spousal support, sometimes the support payor does not follow it.

The court can enforce spousal support payments in a:

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) can also enforce spousal support payments if there is a:

  • court order
  • separation agreement that is filed with the court and registered with the FRO for enforcement

The FRO is a government agency that collects support directly from the person who has to pay support, keeps a record of the amounts paid, and then pays that amount to the person who has to get support.

The FRO can help collect money from a support payor who lives in Canada, any state in the United States, and about 30 other countries that Ontario has an agreement with. These are known as reciprocating jurisdictions.

If Ontario doesn't have an agreement with the country where the support payor lives, the FRO cannot help you collect support. You will have to use the laws of the country where the payor lives. A lawyer may be able to help you do this.

You can talk to a lawyer who can review your documents and your situation to advise you on what to do. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services

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