What Do I Do When My Spouse Misses a Spousal Support Payment?
Has your ex-spouse missed a spousal support payment? You’re probably frustrated, angry, and uncertain of what your next steps are. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And there are definitely steps you can take. Read on to learn what you should do when your ex misses a spousal support payment.
The FRO Handles the Spousal Support Payments
In Ontario, there’s a government office that handles spousal support payments. It’s called the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).
Divorce courts in Ontario automatically file all support orders with the FRO. But before FRO can begin to enforce the support agreement, it needs certain information from both parties. FRO will contact you to register the case with the office. It’s important to provide as much information as possible. In some circumstances you may have to provide details about your ex-spouse such as social insurance number, address, place of employment or business, the amount of his or her income, and details of any property he or she may own (this could be a home, a car, a boat, etc.).
Once the case is registered, FRO begins collecting the money from the spouse responsible for making payments. Then FRO either sends a cheque to the recipient or deposits the money directly in the recipient’s bank account.
What to Do If Your Ex Misses Spousal Support Payments
If your ex misses a payment, contact FRO immediately. The first thing FRO does is try to work with your ex-spouse to come up with a payment plan that includes ongoing payments as well as the outstanding balance.
If that process is unsuccessful, this office can ensure that payments are automatically deducted from the payor’s wages. If the ex-spouse has other income, such as sales commissions, Employment Insurance, income tax refunds, or severance pay, the money can be deducted from those as well.
Moreover, the FRO can register a lien against your ex’s property, garnish his or her bank account (even if it’s a joint bank account with someone else), and order someone else to pay if that person has hidden your former spouse’s assets.
In addition, the FRO can suspend your ex’s driver’s license, report him or her to a credit bureau, and cancel his or her passport.
A Spousal Support Lawyer Can Help
In addition to contacting the FRO, you should also consult your lawyer. Some people don’t retain legal counsel when determining spousal support. As a result, afterwards they feel bullied and that the arrangement is completely unreasonable.
Our spousal support lawyers will sit with you to discuss your case and your options. Contact us today to request a consultation. For more information on spousal support, read our complete guide to spousal support in Ontario.