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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: September 25, 2006
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04 Court

Reinstating Enforcement: Orders and Agreements

Family Law Act Section 54


INTENT

To minimize court intervention by reinstating support orders or agreements.

POLICY

Introduction

The courts have generally accepted a rationale that orders and agreements are suspended when the parents reconcile and are living together. If the parents separate again, enforcement of the original order may re-commence.

Note
Exception to suspension is when parents have reconciled but the child is living with a caregiver who has filed with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) for enforcement.

Domestic Relations Act Orders

Orders made under the Domestic Relations Act are suspended if the couple re-unites, and if the couple separates again enforcement of the original order may re-commence. This occurs if the original order was only for the support of the children.

If the applicant was also ordered spousal/partner support in the original order, the question of desertion would have been considered at the original hearing. After the second separation, the applicability of the desertion clause is unknown. Therefore, the validity of the entire order is questionable.

Orders for the support of the children only can be re-instated for enforcement.

Parentage and Maintenance Orders or Agreements

The courts have accepted a rationale that a Maintenance Agreement or a Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained under the Parentage and Maintenance Act is suspended when a couple legally marries or begins living together. If the couple separates again, enforcement of the original order may re-commence.

Family Law Act Orders or Agreements

The Family Law Act suspends child support orders when the parents resume living together for a period of 30 days. The order ceases to be suspended if the parents resume living separate and apart. [FLA Section 54]

Enforcement for Care and Control

When a support order or agreement exists, and the applicant is not the parent but is a person who now has care and control of the child named in the existing order or agreement, the existing support order or agreement may be enforced.