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Friday, August 01, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

How does Saskatchewan Justice ensure child payments are made?

The Maintenance Enforcement Office helps collect support payments ordered by the court or agreed to by two parties. The Office registers the court order or agreement, records and monitors payments, and processes these. When payments are missed or late, the Office takes enforcement action.

How do I register?

You must send or bring the following documents to the Maintenance Enforcement Office:

  • A completed Maintenance Enforcement Office Registration form. Registration forms are available from the Maintenance Enforcement Office in Regina, the Court of Queen's Bench, Legal Aid or your lawyer.
  • A copy of the current support order or agreement. The agreement must first be filed with the Court of Queen's Bench, and then a stamped copy brought or sent to the Office.  

If you are a claimant, you will be required to fill out an Affidavit of Arrears (a sworn document that reflects payments past due) once the file has been registered with the Office.

If you need help or further information, please call the Office at (306) 787-8961 or 1-866-229-9712 (outside of Regina area) or Email us

Can the Maintenance Enforcement Office guarantee the money will be paid to me?

Approximately 75 per cent of claimants registered with the Office receive their support payments each month.

However, the Office cannot guarantee that payments will be made.

What if the respondent doesn't pay?

The Office will review the file and decide what enforcement action should be taken. Action may include:

  • garnisheeing the respondent's wages, other income or bank account;
  • garnisheeing payments that the respondent may receive from the federal government such as Employment Insurance, Canada Pension, Old Age Security, grain advances, Revenue Canada refunds or GST rebates;
  • enforcing the order or agreement against a corporation which is owned solely by the respondent, or owned by the respondent and related family members;
    reporting the respondent to a credit bureau;
  • seizing and selling the respondent's personal property, such as a vehicle;
  • putting a lien on any property that the respondent owns to prevent the respondent from selling, remortgaging or leasing it without making payment arrangements with the Maintenance Enforcement Office;
  • attaching pension contributions that the respondent has made;
  • suspending the respondent's driver's licence;
  • requiring the respondent to appear in court to explain why payments have not been made. The judge presiding over the default hearing may make an order to put the respondent in jail for up to 90 days for contempt of the maintenance order or agreement.

 

My former spouse is registered with Maintenance Enforcement. Who do I make payments to?

If your former spouse is registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Office, you must make payments to the Office instead of to him or her. You can pay the Maintenance Enforcement Office by:

  • personalized cheque;
  • money order;
  • certified cheque;
  • postdated cheque;
  • bank draft;
  • cash; or
  • Interac at the Maintenance Enforcement Office.  

Make your cheque, money order or bank draft payable to the claimant unless otherwise instructed by the Office.

Cash payments are only accepted in person at court houses or the Maintenance Enforcement Office in Regina. Do not send cash in the mail.

What kind of payments will the Office not collect?

  1. Support that is expressed as a percentage of someone's income (%) or a percentage of the total expense

    For example, a payment for child care expenses (also referred to as a section 7 expense) which is expressed in an order or agreement, as "the Respondent will pay 55% of the child care expense each month" is not sufficiently clear for the Office to monitor or enforce. This does not mean that the amount is not due and owing, but rather, that this payment will not be enforced by the Maintenance Enforcement Office.
  2. Support that required calculation each year, based on an exchange of tax returns or financial information between parties.

    The Office will not get involved in calculating what the amount should be. It will continue to collect the old amount in the order until it is advised that the new amount has been calculated.
  3. Amounts owing under a property settlement.
  4. A non-support debt or any set-off or refund owing to either party which is not support.

 

What is the age of majority in Saskatchewan?

The age of majority in Saskatchewan is 18. In other provinces, the age of majority may be different.

Do I have to keep on paying once my child reaches the age of majority?

If the child support order or agreement is under the provincial law, The Family Maintenance Act, the obligation to pay support may continue beyond the child's eighteenth birthday if that person is:

  1. under the claimant's charge; and
  2. unable, by reason of illness, disability, pursuit of reasonable education or other cause to:
    1. withdraw from the claimant's charge; or
    2. obtain the necessaries of life.

 

If the child support order is under the federal law, The Divorce Act, the obligation to pay support may also continue beyond the child's eighteenth birthday in Saskatchewan if that person:

  1. remains under the parent's charge; and
  2. is unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to withdraw from their charge or to obtain the necessaries of life.  

In either situation, provided adequate proof of the ongoing dependency is provided to the Office, the Office will continue to collect the child support.

Can the other parent and I agree to a different amount than what is in the order, and have the Office enforce that amount instead?

No, the Office will not collect any child support amount that departs from the order or agreement that is registered with the Office. However, where the parties are able to agree to a different amount, and sign a written agreement respecting the new child support amount, this new amount will be enforced once the agreement is filed and registered. Likewise, if the parties obtain a consent order that changes the amount in the current order, the Office will enforce the new amount in the order.

There are a number of requirements for changing a child support order. Parties are encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer prior to entering into any such agreement.

What do I do if my child has changed residence from one parent to the other?

Children moving from one house to the other is not uncommon. The move may be temporary or it may be a long-term change. It may be significant enough to warrant a change to the support order, or it may not. It may mean that the child is no longer under the one parent's charge, or it may not. These are all matters that should be discussed between the parties, or between a parent and his/her lawyer.

Unless a new order or agreement is obtained and registered with the Office, the Office will continue to expect payment for the child, until it received confirmation from the custodial parent as to the child's changed status.



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