Ontario Helping More Families Collect Child Support
International treaty now makes Ontario’s child and spousal support orders enforceable in more than 55 countries
February 01, 2024
Children, Community and Social Services
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TORONTO — The Ontario government is helping more families and children by implementing the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance ratified by Canada in October 2023. This international treaty adds 38 jurisdictions that Ontario can work with to enforce and collect spousal and child support when parents or spouses live abroad, enabling enforcement in a total of more than 55 countries.
“Family responsibilities do not stop at our border, which is why we are pleased to be able to expand our partnerships around the world to ensure people receive court-ordered supports,” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “More families will be getting the support they depend on to pay for living and child expenses.”
Starting today, Ontario’s implementation of the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support allows the province’s Family Responsibility Office (FRO) to work with the other countries and jurisdictions that have implemented the treaty. It allows countries to enforce spousal and child support orders and collect payments through wage garnishments, asset seizures, licence suspensions and other legal means in the jurisdiction where the payor lives.
The 38 additional jurisdictions that FRO can work with are:
- Azerbaijan (as of February 28, 2024)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cabo Verde (as of January 12, 2025)
- The European Union
- Kyrgyzstan (as of November 1, 2024)
- The Netherlands
- The Philippines
In addition to helping with the collection of financial support, the treaty provides a streamlined and cost-efficient process for establishing, changing and enforcing a court order for support in the countries that are included in the treaty. This will help save court resources and shorten the time it takes to collect financial support internationally. It is an important step toward ensuring more support payors fulfill their financial obligations to their families.
- FRO collects child and spousal support for people who live in Ontario, and cooperates with all Canadian provinces and territories, and other jurisdictions in five continents.
- Canada ratified the treaty in October 2023, and Ontario’s International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance Convention Act, 2023, gives the treaty the force of law in province effective February 1, 2024.
- Out of FRO’s approximately 134,000 active cases, about 20,000 (or about 15%) are cases where one party resides outside of Ontario. There are about 200 cases in jurisdictions that FRO gains reciprocity with through the Hague Convention.
- Support recipients, payors, and lawyers can find more information about child and spousal support when one person lives outside of Ontario at ontario.ca/FRO and the webpage for the Hague Conference on Private International Law (Child Support Section)
Child and spousal support when one person lives outside of Ontario
Hague Conference on Private International Law (Child Support Section)
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