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Filipino Family Lawyer: How to Deal with the FRO?

When you have a Family Law matter, your Filipino Family Lawyer in Toronto usually deals with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) on your behalf. FRO is a government agency and by virtue of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, the FRO was given the authority to enforce support orders when the support order is filed in the FRO office and the latter is requested to pay the amounts collected to the person (support recipient) to whom they are owed.

The enforcement mechanism includes:

  • garnishing wages;
  • garnishing government benefits, i.e., pension, employment insurance, income tax refunds, old age security benefits, worker’s compensation;
  • suspending a Driver’s License and Passport or federal license i.e., pilot’s license;
  • issuing a writ for the seizure and sale of the Payor’s owned property;
  • reporting the Payor to any professional organizations to which they belong;
  • register a lien against the payor’s personal property;
  • seizing lottery winnings;
  • issue a writ for seizure and sale of any property;
  • reporting the Payor to the credit bureau;
  • start a default hearing; and/or
  • imposing jail time.

Dealing with FRO can be really frustrating both to the support payor and support recipient.

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Here are a few tips on how to deal with the FRO if you are the:

A. Support Payor

  1. Always keep the FRO updated on changes in your residential address.
  2. Keep the FRO updated in your employment/financial situation.
  3. Do not ignore any document or notices that you may receive from the FRO
  4. Document everything, from the files you received from the FRO to the transaction receipts you have when you send your support payments
  5. Always make sure to comply with the mandated support payments if you can

In addition, as stated in the Ontario Child Support Enforcement Act, as a support payor, it is important that you will let them know if you are or will be delayed in your payment, and once you receive an initial notice of suspension, you have 30 days to either pay your arrears, contact FRO and enter into a plan for repayment. Also, if you wish to terminate your support payments, you should file a motion to vary the support order with the court that issued the original order.

B. Support Recipient:

In reference to Ontario Child Support Enforcement Act, if you are a support recipient and you have not received your payment as scheduled, you must contact FRO. They can inform you if the payment was made and was simply delayed getting the funds to you, or if the payor is in arrears. If the payor is in arrears, you will fill out a Statement of Arrears to indicate how much is owed and submit this to FRO. You can also include in the Statement of Arrears any support the payor owes you from a time before the support order was registered with FRO.
Also, if the payor paid you directly, which may sometimes happen, you must contact the FRO immediately. State how much money you received, do not forget to include when and how you received the payment.

It is also important to know that If you did not receive support from the payor, you cannot deny him/her access to your child/children.

You can talk to your Filipino Family Lawyer who would be able to explain the entire process to you, tell you what you can expect in terms of timelines and the number of adjustments that can be made depending on your current financial situation. Your lawyer can ascertain if particular facts exist which could satisfy the judge to change your existing Separation Agreement or Court Order with regards to the child support payments. AJ Law LLP offers an initial 15-minute consultation FREE of charge or obligation to better address your concerns, especially during this pandemic. Contact us at [email protected] or 416-409-5991 to book an initial consultation for free.


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