What is the Family Responsibility Office?
The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is part of Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. It is responsible for collecting and distributing child and spousal support orders. Where the person paying the support is not doing so, FRO can take steps to enforce payment.
How does FRO become involved?
Your support order – child, spousal or both – will be filed with FRO automatically. FRO will then contact both you and your former partner with a registration package, which you must complete and return.
If you and your former partner have signed a separation or arbitration agreement to deal with support issues, you must file the agreement with the family court and then send a copy to FRO, along with the Affidavit for Filing, and then FRO will send you a registration package so it can enforce the terms of the agreement.
If you do not want FRO to collect and distribute your support payments, you can withdraw your case and manage the situation on your own.
How does FRO collect support payments?
If your ex-partner is employed, FRO will arrange with his employer to have his child and/or spousal support deducted from his paycheque and sent to FRO, which will then deposit it in your bank account. This can take a bit of time at the beginning, but once it is set up your support should arrive in your bank account on a regular basis.
If your ex-partner is not employed, FRO will make an arrangement with him so he pays FRO directly (usually through his bank account or by cheque or money order). FRO then deposits the support payment in your bank account.