Important information about services during the covid 19 outbreak and vaccine rollout

FRO’s in-person service counter is closed, but service is available by phone and online.

FRO continues to help families get the support they are entitled to by collecting, distributing and enforcing child and spousal support payments during the covid 19 outbreak.

Read important updates about FRO services during the covid 19 outbreak.

How support payments work in Ontario

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

Register your case

FRO enforces:

  • support orders
  • domestic contracts filed with the court

Support orders and support deduction orders

At the time of separation 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:

Keep copies of all the documents for your own records.

Learn about family law in Ontario.

After you are registered

After you are registered, we will mail you a letter with the following information:

  • Your confidential PIN for the automated information line accessible via telephone
  • Your one-time enrolment ID and registration instructions for FRO Online

Do not share your PIN with anyone, including our staff. You need your PIN to access information about your case through the automated information line.

Once you have access to FRO Online, you can see your case details, print transaction history, submit documents to FRO and more.

Learn more about FRO Online.

Paying support

We know you want to do the right thing and support your family. We’re here to help you meet your responsibilities.

Making support payments

When you’re registered to pay support through FRO, make your support payments through us.

Do not pay the support recipient directly.

Payments sent directly to the recipient will not show up on your FRO account. We will charge you $100 every time we have to adjust your account to make it show the correct amount.

Once we receive the money, we send it to the support recipient usually within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the support payment.

If you or the recipient live outside of Ontario there is a different process. Learn about child and spousal support when one person lives outside of Ontario.

Payors who are employed

When the Ontario court makes a support order, it also gives us the right to send a support deduction notice to your employer. Your employer will then deduct the amount of support that you owe from your net pay and send it to us.

It may take some time for your employer to set up the automatic deductions. Until they are set up, you must send us the support payments directly.

Payors who are self-employed, unemployed or not on a regular payroll

If you are self-employed, unemployed or not on a regular payroll, you must pay us directly. There are several ways you can do that.

Option 1: pre-authorized debit (PAD) from your bank account

You can make pre-authorized support payments by completing the preauthorized debit application for payors form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

Option 2: through your bank

The Family Responsibility Office is a registered payee with most banks and credit unions. You can arrange to make your payments online or by telephone banking.

To make your support payments through online banking:

  1. login to your bank’s website or app
  2. go to the section where you pay bills
  3. add the Family Responsibility Office as a payee or bill – you may find us listed under “Ontario”
  4. for the “account number,” please enter your Family Responsibility Office case number, which always starts with 0 or 1 and is seven digits long.

To register for telephone banking, call your bank directly. Make sure you have your FRO case number with you.

Option 3: cheque or money order

Make your cheque or money order payable to the Director, Family Responsibility Office and mail it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 2204, Station P
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E9

Remember, always include your seven-digit FRO case number and your full name (including first and last names) on your payments and in all correspondence with us. Do not include your personal identification number (PIN).

If you do not include your case number and name on the cheque, we will be unable to process the payment and you will be at risk of enforcement action.

Alternative payment orders

Alternative payment orders allow a support payor to pay by a method other than automatic income deductions under a support deduction order. Alternative payment orders are made by a judge in limited circumstances.

If you want to ask the court to make an alternative payment order, complete the appropriate sections of the alternative payment order form before your court date.

If you or the support recipient has a lawyer, the lawyer will complete the rest of the form based on what the judge orders. If neither of you has a lawyer, give the form to the court clerk and the court will complete the rest of the form based on what the judge orders.

Paying arrears

Most of our clients willingly pay their support fully and on time.

Unfortunately, sometimes people fall behind on their support responsibilities.

If you fall behind on your support responsibilities, the money that you owe is called arrears.

If you fall behind in your support payments, contact our office right away at:

Together, we can work out a voluntary payment plan, called a voluntary arrears payment schedule.

Through a voluntary arrears payment schedule, you and FRO work together to develop a plan that will help you pay down the amount you owe while also paying ongoing support. You will need to complete two forms:

If you do not meet your support responsibilities, we have the legal authority and responsibility to take enforcement action to recover the money that you owe.

Ending support payments

Generally, you should keep making payments until we tell you in writing that you can stop.

Ontario laws do not set automatic end dates for child or spousal support payments. For example, support does not automatically end when a child turns 18. However, support orders and domestic contracts may set a date or an event called a “terminating event” that ends support payments.

When an order or contract does not say when support payments end, the support payor and support recipient must both agree to end the payments. If they cannot agree on ending the payments, they may have to go to court and have a judge decide.

If there is a terminating event

Some support orders or domestic contracts set a “terminating event” that ends support payments. For example, a terminating event for child support could be the child leaving school or starting full-time work. A terminating event for spousal support could be remarriage.

Both the payor and recipient must agree that a terminating event has occurred for FRO to stop enforcing support payments without a court order. Keep us informed. If you have a court order that ends support, send a copy of it to us. Or if you believe a terminating event has happened, contact us. We will review your file and take appropriate action.

If you tell us that support should end

If you believe that your support should end or has ended, you can tell us by completing the application to discontinue enforcement of ongoing support form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

After you contact us, we will send a letter to the support recipient for confirmation. How the recipient responds will determine what we will do next.

  • If the recipient denies that support should end, we will continue to enforce the support order. If you still believe that support should end, you may have to go back to court.
  • If the recipient does not respond to our request, we can stop enforcing support payments or enforce a lower amount of support. However, if the recipient tells us later that payments should not have ended, we can start enforcing payments again.
  • If the recipient agrees in writing to end support, we will tell you in writing that you can stop making support payments.

Our office will continue to collect support for other dependents on the support order (if there are other dependents on the support order), as well as any arrears, or money you still owe. Sometimes that means paying us even after your support payments have ended because you may still owe us money for:

  • enforcement costs
  • administrative costs, including banking fees
  • court costs

When support payors should contact us

To help us keep accurate information about you and help avoid possible enforcement actions, contact us immediately if:

  • your financial situation changes, such as due to losing your job
  • you fall behind on your payments
  • your name, address or employer/source of income changes
  • you believe that your obligation to pay support has ended
  • you receive a notice of enforcement action from FRO

You may also wish to contact a lawyer to find out what your options are. We cannot change the amount of support you pay. Only a judge can change the amount of support in your support order or domestic contract.

Receiving support

When you will receive your first payment

If there are no complications with enforcing the payments, you can expect to start receiving them within 30 to 60 days of registration. If the payor is not making payments or if we do not know who their employer is, it may take longer to receive your first payment.

If you or the payor live outside of Ontario there is a different process. Learn about child and spousal support when one person lives outside of Ontario.

Receive your payments by direct deposit

When we register your case, we will send you a registration for direct deposit form. This form gives us permission to deposit support payments directly into your bank account.

When we receive a support payment, we deposit it in your account usually within 48 hours, as long as we have all the correct account information. Make sure you let us know immediately if any of your banking information changes.

If there are changes to your banking information, please send us a new registration for direct deposit form.

Tell us right away if you get a payment directly from the payor. When your case is filed with us, the payor must make all support payments through our office.

Delayed payments

If you haven’t received a payment in more than 30 days, please contact us:

Toronto: 416-326-1817
Toll-free: 1-800-267-4330
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-545-0083

Agents are available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do not contact the payor’s employer or income source.

Payments may be late for several reasons, including:

  • postal delays
  • payments with missing or incorrect information (such as the wrong seven-digit case number)
  • a change in the payor’s employment

If you need us to send you a new cheque because a previous cheque was lost, please fill out the affidavit for a lost cheque form and mail it or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

If the payor has not been making payments, we will first try to work with them to develop a payment plan for the amount that is owed, while making ongoing support payments.

If the payor does not set up a payment plan, we can take enforcement action.

Interest on late payments

We do not automatically add interest to arrears on your case. If your court order includes a condition for interest, fill in the interest portion of the statement of arrears form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

FRO will work to collect interest on your case.

FRO can only take enforcement action on interest that has built up because the support payor didn’t comply with the support order.

If payments are coming from the payor’s employer or other income source, the payor has no control over the schedule of payments. In this case, we will not enforce any interest owing for delays in payments.

If your order does not include an interest amount, you may still be eligible to receive interest. Based on the date of judgement (date of your court order), you can claim interest at a set percentage amount. For more information, please see the instructions on claiming interest in the statement of arrears form.

When support recipients should contact us

Contact us immediately if:

  • your name, address, telephone number or banking information changes
  • you have any new information about the person who is paying your support, such as a new name, address, telephone number, job or financial situation
  • you believe that the support obligation has ended
  • you receive a letter from us requesting that you confirm or deny that support has ended
  • the support payor has used or is using a different name from the one on the support order, including nicknames, aliases or different spellings

Get information about your support payments

FRO Online

If you are already registered for FRO Online, or if you received an enrolment letter and need to complete the registration, click the Sign in button below.

Sign in

FRO Online is an easy-to-use, self-service option for FRO clients. FRO Online gives you safe, secure access to:

  • your case status
  • any outstanding arrears
  • your contact information
  • current obligations
  • active enforcements

FRO Online enables you to:

  • send us questions, information and documents
  • access real-time financial information
  • view and print your statement of account

Sign up for FRO Online

To register for FRO online:

Sign up

Please ensure to read all instructions while you are signing up for FRO online.

During the sign up process, we will confirm your:

  • 7-digit case number
  • date of birth
  • current mailing address

After we confirm your information, we will mail you an enrolment ID so you can complete registration for FRO Online. From the time of request, it will take five to seven business days for you to receive the enrolment ID.

Get help with FRO Online

Call us:

Please have your seven-digit FRO case number ready.

Technical help with Public Secure accounts

FRO Online uses Public Secure, Ontario’s secure login tool, which gives users access to a range of Ontario programs and services through a single login.

Get help with your Public Secure account.

FRO’s automated information line

FRO’s automated information line lets you use your phone to access general information about your case, including recent transactions, 24 hours a day.

Call FRO and select the option for automated information:

To use FRO’s automated information line, you will need your:

  • personal identification number (PIN)
  • seven-digit case number you received from FRO after your case was first registered

The PIN is designed to protect your personal information. Do not share your PIN with anyone, including our staff. Treat your FRO PIN the same way you would treat any other PIN assigned only to you, such as for your bank or credit card.

Statement of your account

If you would like FRO to mail you an official statement of your account, which is sometimes required by the court, you need to fill out a request for director’s statement of arrears form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 622
Steeles West Post Office
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 0K8
Fax: 416-240-2468

The first statement of account is free of charge. Subsequent requests cost $25.

You can access your statement of account daily at no charge using FRO Online.

Learn more about FRO Online.

You can also get a transaction history by calling FRO and asking for a copy of your Schedule A.

Allow someone to act on your behalf

If you would like to designate and authorize someone other than you (a third party) to act on your behalf in relation to your case at FRO, please complete a third party authorization form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

Once authorized, the person you designate will be able to request and receive information from FRO about your case.

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

Change a support order

Let us 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. The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) cannot change any of the terms in your support order or domestic contract. Under certain circumstances, FRO may be able to stop enforcing your support payments or reduce the amount of support being enforced.

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). You must mail or fax us the completed form:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

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 about this see the Ministry of the Attorney General’s self help guide for motions to change. You will also need to fill out the appropriate sections of the:

You may be able to set up or update child support without having to go to court by using the Ministry of Attorney General’s child support online service.

Once your support order is changed, you must mail or fax us a copy:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

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.

Withdraw your case

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.

Complete a notice of withdrawal form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

Withdrawing if the payor is behind in making payments

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

The support recipient must complete a notice by support recipient of unilateral withdrawal form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
Fax: 416-240-2401

After we receive the form we will notify the payor and stop all enforcement on the case.

Re-register a case

If you withdrew your case from the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) and decide you would like to reopen your case, please complete the notice of re-filing form and mail or fax it to us:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 622
Steeles West Post Office
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 0K8
Fax: 416-240-2468

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

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.

How you can contact us

Before you contact us

To get case information, you must have your 7-digit case number.

You will need your personal identification number (PIN) to get automated information only.

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

If one person lives outside of Ontario, please contact the interjurisdictional support orders unit.

If you’re looking for information about your support payments, you may be able to get the information you need without speaking to someone. Learn more about our self-serve options to help you get information about your support payments.

Phone

Call us to:

  • get general information about FRO
  • speak to or leave a message for us
  • access automated information about recent transactions on your case

Toronto: 416-326-1817
Toll-free: 1-800-267-4330
TTY: 1-866-545-0083

Agents are available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Automated information about your case is available 24 hours a day.

Mailing us payments

Mail payments to:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 2204, Station P
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E9

All payments must:

  • be payable to “Director, Family Responsibility Office”
  • include your case number and first and last name

This address is for payments only. Do not send correspondence to this address.

Mailing or faxing us a letter

Mail correspondence and forms without payments to:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 200, Station A
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 0C5
416-240-2401

This address is for correspondence and forms only. Do not mail payments, such as cheques or money orders, to this address.

Serving court documents on FRO

You can serve court documents on FRO by email only: FROlegalservice@ontario.ca.

This email is not for client service-related inquiries or for the delivery of other documents to FRO. For case-related inquiries, please contact us at Toll-free: 1-800-267-4330.

If the payor or recipient lives outside of Ontario, please contact the interjurisdictional support orders unit.

Payors or recipients living outside of Ontario

For information or questions about payors or recipients who live outside of Ontario, contact the interjurisdictional support orders unit:

Toronto: 416-240-2410
Toll-free: 1-800-463-3533

Family Responsibility Office
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Unit
PO Box 600, Steeles West Post Office
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 0K8
Canada

Do not send payments to this address. Please send payments to:

Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 2204, Station P
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E9

All payments must:

  • be payable to “Director, Family Responsibility Office”
  • include your case number and first and last name

Unresolved issue or service complaint

FRO is committed to delivering excellent service.

If you have an unresolved issue or service complaint, or if you would like to submit feedback, you can contact FRO’s director.

Freedom of information requests

If you would like to get access to government records using the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or to correct your personal information, please complete the freedom of information access or correction request form and mail it to:

FIPPA Representative
Family Responsibility Office
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
PO Box 611, Steeles West Post Office
Toronto, Ontario
M3J 0K8

Learn about making a freedom of information request.

You must include a $5 cheque or money order payable to “Minister of Finance” and mark the envelope as “private and confidential.”

Updated: November 17, 2021
Published: September 30, 2020