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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: June 10, 2016
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04 Court

Interjurisdictional Support Orders

Family Law Act
IESA Section 29 and Section 30
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Regulation: Schedule of Reciprocating Jurisdictions


INTENT

To ensure the best interests of the child are met by enabling court orders to be pursued when the respondent lives outside Alberta.

POLICY

Introduction

The Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (ISO) allows parties residing in different court jurisdictions to obtain and vary child and adult support orders under provincial legislation. In Alberta the provincial legislation that can be used with the ISO Act is the Family Law Act. The authority for Child Support Services (CSS) to pursue ISO orders for assistance clients is found in IESA Part 5. An existing order obtained under the Domestic Relations Act or the Parentage and Maintenance Act can be varied under the authority of the Family Law Act using the ISO process. A Divorce Order cannot be varied under the ISO Act, as the ISO Act only covers provincial legislation not federal.

CSS pursues support under the ISO Act for all CSS clients, with the exception that no Support Variation Application (SVA) is pursued for non-assistance clients. [IESA Section 30(1)]

The CSW pursues support from respondents living outside Alberta when:

  • the respondent lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction,
  • the respondent is not paying child support in accordance with the Alberta Child Support Guidelines,
  • the respondent refuses to co-operate with the Child Support Worker (CSW) to sign a CSS 0045 Support Agreement via the mail,
  • the respondent has the ability to pay reasonable child support, and
  • the respondent’s address or place of employment is known as confirmed by the applicant or locate activity.


The CSW initiates a Support Application (SA) under the ISO Act as soon as it is determined that contact with the respondent or negotiation of a legally enforceable agreement is not possible.

Note
When the CSW has assessed that the respondent has no ability to pay and the client wants to proceed with the ISO application, the client is referred to the Family Law Information Centre to complete the application on their own.

The ISO Support Application process minimally takes 4 to 12 months to complete.

Support Application (SA)

The ISO Support Application is a sworn statement by the applicant that includes all the applicants evidence required to make the request for a support order. The Support Application is filed in court in Alberta and forwarded to the respondent’s jurisdiction as the applicant’s evidence for a determination. Under ISO legislation the applicant is referred to as the “the Claimant” for Support Applications and “the Applicant” for Support Variation applications.

When the CSW determines the respondent is living in a reciprocal jurisdiction the worker:

  • Confirms with the applicant that no existing child support order exists as a Support Variation Application needs to be used in this case.
  • Confirms with the applicant that no existing written child support agreement exists as a Support Variation Application needs to be used in this case.
  • Completes or assists the applicant in the completion of the ISO forms following the completion directions for each specific form.
  • Ensures the applicant has certified copies of the marriage certificate and birth certificates for the appropriate dependants, or a certified copy of the live birth registration for applicants when there is no presumption of parentage due to marriage.

    Note
    The applicant is responsible to provide the copies of the marriage and appropriate dependant birth certificates. The CSW may obtain these documents on the applicants behalf only if the applicant has no other available resources and information about the respondent indicates a reasonable amount of support can be obtained.

    When the CSW obtains certified copies of documents on behalf of the applicant, these documents are given to the applicant. The CSW retains photocopies of all documents on the CSS file. Registration of Live Birth documents are not forwarded to the applicant.

    If the documents are requested from the Alberta government they are provided at no charge. If the documents are requested from other jurisdictions the cost is paid by the CSS office.
  • Ensures the applicant has the required financial information (e.g., Income Tax Assessments for the last 3 years, current pay stubs). The CSW can have the applicant give consent to obtain the Income Tax Assessments directly from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) using CSS 0338 Consent for Release of Confidential Information.
  • Ensures the applicant has any other documents that a specific form requires (e.g., receipts for Section 7 expenses including day care).
  • Advises the applicant to update their CSW or the court directly of any change in the applicant’s address during the ISO process.


Translation

All ISO Applications are completed in English and if the reciprocating jurisdiction has legislation making the translation the responsibility of the applicant’s jurisdiction, the completed ISO Application may be returned to Alberta.

Support Variation Application (SVA)

A Support Variation Application is used when a provincial order for child support exists and the application is to vary this existing order or when a written child support agreement exists and the application is to vary this existing agreement.

The CSW does not initiate an SVA for non-assistance clients. [IESA Section 30(1)]

When the CSW determines that there is an existing provincial support order and the financial circumstances of the respondent, who is residing outside of Alberta in a reciprocating jurisdiction, warrant an increase in the support order, the CSW:

  • Completes an SVA
  • Advises the client to update their CSW or the court directly of any change in the client’s address during the ISO process


Request for Further Evidence

The reciprocating court judge can ask for any further evidence that is required from the applicant in Alberta in order for the judge to make a decision on the Support/Support Variation Application under ISO.

When the judge has requested further evidence from a CSS applicant, the CSW is notified by the Alberta court and receives a copy of the request for further evidence. The CSW then:

  • Reviews the Request for Further Evidence
  • Contacts the applicant to discuss and obtain the necessary information to respond to the Request for Further Evidence including any required documentation


ISO Process

Family Court or Court of Queen’s Bench forwards the Support/Support Variation Application, and accompanying provisional order if required, to the Alberta Attorney General at the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). MEP forwards the ISO Support Application (SA)/Support Variation Application (SVA), and accompanying provisional order if required, to the reciprocating jurisdiction where the hearing will be held.

The respondent is summonsed to appear at Court in the reciprocal jurisdiction. An ISO order may be made at this hearing. In rare cases, the matter is dismissed and reasons for the dismissal will be communicated to the applicant.

The reciprocating jurisdiction forwards the ISO order to the originating court.

During the ISO process, the CSS file remains open and the Alberta court provides notification to the CSW when:

  • The Support Application (SA) or Support Variation Application (SVA) is incomplete as submitted
  • The SA or SVA is sent to the Alberta Attorney General
  • A Request for Further Evidence is received from the reciprocal jurisdiction
  • The further evidence is sent to the reciprocal jurisdiction


And the Alberta courts provide the CSW with:

  • A copy of the provisional order if this was required, and
  • A certified copy of the final ISO order


The CSW can request an update of the status of the ISO SA or SVA by contacting the court clerk where the ISO application was filed.

When the CSW receives a copy of the ISO order, the worker usually ensures the support order is referred to MEP for registration.

If there is no Crown claim, the CSW closes the file after sending the applicant a copy of the ISO order.

Other Albertans With Low Income Who Do Not Qualify for CSS

Resolution Support Centre
These applicants are referred to a Resolution Support Centre in Edmonton, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat or Lethbridge to obtain a copy of the ISO guides and forms:

Calgary

Resolution Support Centre
#706-S, Calgary Courts Centre
601 - 5 Street SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 5P7
Phone: 403-297-6981
Fax: 403-297-6605

Edmonton

Resolution Support Centre
8124, 8th floor, John E. Brownlee Building 
10365 97 Street 
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3S7
Phone: 780-415-0404
Fax: 780-415-0403

Grande Prairie

Resolution Support Centre
10260 - 99 Street
Grande Prairie, Alberta  T8V 2H4
Phone: 780-833-4234
Fax: 780-833-4235

Red Deer

Resolution Support Centre
4909 - 48 Avenue
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 3T5
Phone: 403-755-1468
Fax: 403-341-8635

Lethbridge

Resolution Support Centre
320 - 4 Street S
Lethbridge, Alberta  T1J 1Z8
Phone: 403-388-3102
Fax: 403-388-3104

Medicine Hat

Resolution Support Centre
460 First Street SE
Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 0A8
Phone: 403-529-8715
Fax: 403-529-3711


Applicants can call the Resolution Support Centre offices on the rite system (310-0000) from anywhere in Alberta for guidance required with completing the ISO application. The ISO forms are also available at most Alberta courts. There is a small fee for the forms from the courthouse and from Resolution Support Centres but no fee if the forms are downloaded electronically from the Alberta Courts website. There is no filing fee for the applicant to file the SA or SVA at the Alberta court.

Assistance clients can be referred to Resolution Support Centres when the CSW has assessed that the respondent has no ability to pay and the client still wants to proceed with the ISO application.

Incoming ISO Applications

When the respondent resides in Alberta and the ISO SA or SVA has been sent from outside the province, the SA is forwarded to the Family Court in the jurisdiction where the respondent lives. The SA is the responsibility of the Department of Justice and the CSW does not become involved.