You need to enforce BC child support when the other parent doesn’t pay it. First you need to have a separation agreement or a child support order. If the parent doesn’t pay as per the separation agreement or court order, you have many options for enforcing BC child support. These include hiring a child support enforcement lawyer or having the government enforcing it for you.

What Resources are Available for Enforcing BC Child Support?

Enforcing BC child support can happen mainly in 2 ways:

  1. Hire a BC child support lawyer to take your ex-spouse to Court and enforce child support and seek fines, contempt or enforcement of child support (not free); or
  2. Register your separation agreement or Court Order with the Family Maintenance and Enforcement Program.(free). This program will help you obtain your child support and has many powers.

Let’s look at how these 2 options work:

Hiring a Child Support Enforcement Lawyer for Enforcing BC Child Support

If FMEP cannot help you because your separation agreement or court order is not specific enough, you need a lawyer. If the other parent is underworked or purposely unemployed, you need a lawyer.

FMEP will only help you if you have an order  or separation agreement which is specific enough for them to enforce it.

In addition to helping you obtain specific orders, a lawyer can set down a Court Application and force your spouse to show up in Court and explain why he/she refuses to pay child support. If the Court determines that the other parent is willingly avoiding paying child support, the Court can make many orders including:

  1. Order fines;
  2. Order special costs;
  3. Order a payment hearing;
  4. Order the non-paying parent to be imprisoned;
  5. Order the non-paying parent to file a financial statement;
  6. Garnish the non-paying parent’s wages;
  7. Order more financial disclosure; etc.

Registering with the FMEP for Enforcing BC Child Support 

The FMEP is a great governmental organization that will enforce child and spousal support on your behalf for FREE! They will assign a lawyer to your case to help you collect BC child support. FMEP has very vast powers such as being able to:

  1. Confiscate your ex-spouse’s passport or driver’s license;
  2. Collect all tax refunds belonging to your ex-spouse and paying you child support using those funds;
  3. Liquidating and garnishing your ex-spouse’s assets and wages;
  4. Seeking court orders for your ex-spouse’s imprisonment, a default hearing, fines, fees, etc.

To register with the FMEP, you will need to first have a proper court Order or separation agreement that they can enforce. Both the separation agreement and court order will need to be specific. Being specific includes determining the exact amount of child support, its frequency and duration, and how it should be paid. FMEP usually does Provincial Court Hearings and not Supreme Court Hearings.

Applications to enforce child support by your lawyer or the FMEP will need to go through the BC Supreme Court or the BC Provincial Court. To enforce Child support at the BC Supreme Court, you will need to file a Notice of Application. For the Provincial Court, you will need to file a Notice of Motion.

To know more about your rights on how to enforce BC child support, contact our award winning family law firm at 604-974-9529 or email info@ylaw.ca

This content was updated in 2017 for more freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness by YLaw. 

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