Helping with Family Obligations

In June 2019, changes were made to two pieces of legislation related to family law: the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA) and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA). Certain changes to FOAEAA and GAPDA came into force on Royal Assent (June 21, 2019). Other changes to GAPDA came into force in December 2020. Changes to FOAEAA Part I came into force on November 15, 2023, while other changes to FOAEAA will come into force progressively within the next two-year period. This website will be updated as those changes in law come into effect.

Children need financial support from their parents – and they have a legal right to it. When parents separate or divorce, they should try to agree on the amount of child support. If they ask a court to decide, the court will use guidelines to determine child support payments. Some child support guidelines fall under federal law while others are under provincial or territorial law. The guidelines that apply depend on the family's situation.

Under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, parents need to provide complete and up-to-date income information to ensure a fair amount of support.

A support order from a court is a legal document. The order may be to pay spousal support, child support or both. A support order can be enforced if the full amount of support is not being paid. An agreement to pay child support or spousal support can also be enforced if it is in writing. Each province and territory has a Maintenance Enforcement Program to help enforce support orders and agreements.

This website provides general information. Family law is complex. You are encouraged to contact a lawyer for help with family law issues.

Most requested

Services and information

For people who owe support

By law, you must comply with a support order from a court or with a written agreement to pay support.

For people receiving support

Child support and parenting time are separate issues.

Resolve Enforcement Issues

Sometimes people stop paying support because things have changed.

Enforcement between provinces, territories and countries

All Canadian provinces and territories have reciprocity arrangements with each other and with certain other countries.

Provincial and Territorial Social Assistance Agencies

Contact information to assist applicant in providing notice to the support order assignee of filing an application to vary a support order, as required under section 18.3(2) of the Divorce Act