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What is the FRO doing about support payments during COVID-19?

What is the FRO doing about support payments during COVID-19?
Reviewed: 
September 2, 2020
Answer

During COVID-19, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) continues to collect support directly from the person who has to pay support, keep a record of the amounts paid, and then pay that amount to the person who has to get support. But they've cancelled all Driver's Licence Suspension Notices during COVID-19.

The FRO's in-person counter is closed, but you can contact them by phone, email, or fax if you have questions about your FRO case.

The FRO cannot make changes to a court order or agreement about support. You must go to court and bring a motion to change to do this.

If you can't make payments

If you cannot make your support payments because of COVID-19, it's important to contact the FRO as soon as you can. Give them your name, case number, and contact information. Tell them:

  • why you can't make your payments, for example, you're working less hours, you've been laid off, or your business has closed
  • when you expect to get back to work full-time, if you know this information

The FRO will not garnish Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments. But Employment Insurance and GST/HST credit payments can be garnished. The FRO can also:

  • take money from your:
    • bank accounts
    • retirement savings
    • wages or other income
  • suspend your Canadian passport
  • register the support order as a "charge" against your property, which means you can't sell it or transfer ownership until you pay any support owing.
  • report you to the credit bureau which may damage your credit rating
  • take any Ontario lottery prize over $1,000

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