4. Go to court

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Family Law - Child support
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Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Family Responsibility Office (FRO)

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My partner isn't paying child support. What should I do?
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4. Go to court

Some people decide not to use the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) to enforce support for them. They decide to go to court themselves to enforce their separation agreement or court order.

You can ask the court to do things like:

  • Take money from your partner's bank accounts.
  • Take money from your partner's retirement savings.
  • Take money from your partner's wages or other income.
  • Register the support order as a "charge" against your partner’s property. This means they can't sell it or transfer ownership until they pay any support owing.
  • Take your partner’s employer to court for not following a Support Deduction Order.
  • Start a default hearing.

These are all things the FRO can do for you at no cost.

If you decide to do it yourself, you need to make a court application by filling out some forms. This tells the judge why you should get the help you're asking for.

The forms you fill out depend on the type of help you want. For example, if you want to take money from your partner's wages, you need to fill out a notice of garnishment.

You can talk to a lawyer to help you understand the different ways you can enforce your rights and those of your children. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled services" or "limited scope retainer" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

Reviewed: March 1, 2021

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