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My partner isn't paying child support. What should I do?
The court can enforce child support payments in a:
- court order
- separation agreement that is binding and enforceable under the law
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) can also enforce child support payments if there is a:
- court order
- separation agreement that is filed with the court and registered with the FRO for enforcement
- Notice of Calculation or Notice of Recalculation filed by the government
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 payor parent who lives in Canada, any state in the United States, and about 30 other countries that Ontario has an agreement with. These are called reciprocating jurisdictions.
If Ontario doesn't have an agreement with the country where the payor parent 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 and what you have to do to protect your child's rights. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to find legal help in other places.
Child support is separate from access
The right to child support and access are two different issues. They are both rights of the child. A parent cannot be denied access to their child because they do not pay child support. And a parent who does not have access may still have to pay child support.
You can only refuse to allow access in limited situations, such as if you're afraid for your child's safety. You may have to call your local children's aid society if you believe your child is being abused by your partner or someone in their home. If you're in this situation, get help right away.