The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is an Ontario governmental office that will enforce the payment of support. This entity collects the support payment and then remits the payment to the custodial parent, keeping records of the transactions.
If a parent misses a payment, the FRO has the ability to enforce Court-ordered payments. It can:
- Deduct the payments from salary, wages, or other income
- Issue a lien against any personal property or real estate
- Debit bank accounts
- Take legal action against anyone helping the parent hide assets.
In order to take one or more of these steps, the FRO needs the full name, address, social insurance number, place of employment, income, and information on any other property the payor may own.
They also have options to pressure the non-paying parent by suspending a driver’s license, reporting them to a credit bureau, and canceling a passport.
The FRO is established under the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act to ensure that support payments are properly made. They enforce any Ontario Court orders or agreements filed with the Court. If the paying parent does not live in Ontario but the payment order was issued in Ontario, the FRO can still enforce the order.
The FRO cannot alter any obligations, so it cannot reduce the ordered amount or forgive any arrears, but it can work with the payor to formulate a payment plan. It is important to note that the custodial parent does not have the right to limit or prevent visitation privileges just because support payments have stopped.