Overview

In Ontario, when a person is ordered by the court to pay child or spousal support payments, the support order is automatically filed with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).

FRO is a program of the Government of Ontario that helps families get the support they are entitled to by collecting, distributing and enforcing child and spousal support payments.

FRO plays an important role in ensuring the financial security of families who count on court-ordered support. We:

  • collect payments from the person who pays the support (the payor)
  • send payments to the person who is entitled to it (the recipient)

We do this under the authority of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996 and the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act, 2002.

FRO does not:

  • make payments to a recipient when the payor misses a payment
  • change the terms of support orders or domestic contracts, including the support amount
  • get involved in child custody or access issues

Get information about your payments online

Get online access to your Family Responsibility Office case information and access information about your support payments.

Register your case

FRO enforces:

Support orders and support deduction orders

When you separate or divorce, the court may issue a support order and a support deduction order.

The support deduction order gives FRO the authority to ask the payor’s employer to deduct the support payments from the payor’s income.

Once we have the support order or support deduction order, we register your case by:

  • contacting you (we contact both the payor and the recipient) to:
    • welcome you to the program
    • confirm the contact information in the order
    • explain how the program works and your responsibilities
  • assigning a seven-digit case number to your case

We will also mail you a welcome package. When you are completing the forms in the package, please provide as much information as possible. We use this information to enforce and maintain your support order or domestic contract.

Domestic contracts

A domestic contract is a formal written agreement between people setting out their family law rights and obligations towards each other. There are five kinds of domestic contracts:

  • marriage contracts
  • cohabitation agreements
  • paternity agreements
  • separation agreements
  • family arbitration agreements

If you want FRO to enforce your domestic contract or agreement, you must register it with us.

To register:

  1. File the domestic contract or agreement with the Ontario Court of Justice or Superior Court of Justice with an affidavit for filing domestic contract with court form (26B).
  2. Mail FRO copies of:

The mailing address for registration is:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5

Keep copies of all the documents for your own records.

Learn about family law in Ontario.

Changing a support order or domestic contract

You should let FRO know if the terms of your domestic contract or support order change.

We need this information to update our records and collect the correct support amount.

There may come a time when you feel the support terms of your order or domestic contract should be changed. For example, your:

  • income may change
  • former spouse may remarry
  • child may finish his or her education or get a job after reaching age 18

Only the courts can change your order. FRO cannot change any of the terms in your support order or domestic contract.

How to change a support order

You must ask the court to change a support order by filing a motion to change form.

For more information review the self help guide for motions to change. You will also need to fill out the appropriate sections of the support deduction order information form.

You may be able to set up or update child support online.

Once your support order is changed, you must send us the changed order by:

  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2401
  • or mail to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 200, Station A
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 0C5

The process for changing a support order is different if either the payor or recipient lives outside of Ontario. Find out what to do when one person lives outside of Ontario.

How to change a domestic contract

The support payor and the support recipient must negotiate a new domestic contract with new support terms.

The new contract must be filed with the Ontario Court of Justice or Superior Court of Justice (Family Court) with an affidavit for filing domestic contract with court form (26B).

Send us the newly filed contract and the form 26B by:

  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2401
  • or mail it to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 200, Station A
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 0C5

Allow someone to act on your behalf

If you want someone to act on your behalf in relation to your case at FRO, you may complete a third party authorization form and send it to us.
Send the form by:

  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2401
  • or mail to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 200, Station A
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 0C5

The person you designate on the form will be able to request and receive information from FRO about your case. This person is called an authorized ‘third party’.

To stop a third party from accessing your case, please complete a cancellation of third party authorization form and send it to us.

Use FRO Online after you are registered

After you are registered, we will mail you a letter with your:

  • one-time enrolment ID and registration instructions for FRO Online
  • confidential PIN for the automated information phone line

Do not share your PIN with anyone, including our staff.

Once you have access to FRO Online, you can get details on your case, print transaction history, complete and submit certain forms, submit documents to FRO and more.

Learn more about FRO Online.

Paying and receiving child and spousal support

Learn how the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) helps you pay and receive support and what to do if a payment is missed.

You need to complete a Statement of Arrears form to get the unpaid support and interest you are owed.  Learn how to complete a Statement of Arrears form or claim interest on unpaid support. 

Withdraw your support order

If you would prefer to arrange for support payments to take place privately, without FRO's involvement, you can withdraw your case.

Both the payor and the support recipient must agree in writing to withdraw if the payor is making payments on time.

Complete a notice of withdrawal form and send it to us.

Send the form by:

  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2401
  • or mail it to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 200, Station A
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 0C5

Withdrawing if the payor is behind in making payments

If the case is in arrears, the support recipient may withdraw the order from FRO without the payor’s consent.

The support recipient must complete a notice by support recipient of unilateral withdrawal form and send it to us.

  • Send the form by:
  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2401
  • or mail to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 200, Station A
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 0C5

After we receive the form with all necessary signatures, we will notify the payor and stop all enforcement on the case.

Reopen a case

If you withdrew your order or contract from FRO and decide you would like to reopen your case, please complete the notice of refiling form and send it to us.
Send the form by:

  • uploading it to FRO Online
  • fax to 416-240-2468
  • or mail to:

    Family Responsibility Office
    Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
    PO Box 622
    Steeles West Post Office
    Toronto, Ontario
    M3J 0K8

Either the recipient or payor can complete this form and submit it to FRO. You will each have to pay a $50 re-filing fee.

As a recipient, you will also have to submit a registration package, if you have not submitted one already.

If you want us to enforce any arrears that may have accumulated since the case was closed, you will need to complete and submit a Statement of Arrears form.

If there has been a change in the status of a child (for example, the child is no longer eligible for support payments), you must let us know in writing.