LEGAL ISSUES

The Family Responsibility Office

  • The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is the Provincial Government's enforcement arm of Family Court Orders for Child Support and Spousal Support.

  • The FRO has been the subject of much criticism for many years for its failure to meet the needs of those using this service. Past Governments have failed to provide the financial resources to make the system work efficiently for families and the frustration level for everyone is substantial.

  • The failure to be efficient not only means that families with the mother as the primary parent are shortchanged, but also that fathers are too often labeled as “Dead Beat Dads” simply because the changes in circumstance are not yet processed by the FRO.

  • Governments have contributed to the myth that Fathers are irresponsible and that punishments (i.e., license suspension, jail sentences of 180 days, etc.) will solve the problem.

  • Research indicates that mothers who are the non-custodial parent are as, or more, likely to be delinquent in their payments than fathers in a similar situation. The misuse of derogatory labels results in more harm to our families.

  • Research also suggests that the more involved that a father is in his child's life, the more likely that the necessary financial resources are available to the family.

  • The fear of the FRO and its sanctions has caused thousands of fathers to "disappear” or to go underground and essentially live a subsistence life. Everyone loses. These fathers lost faith in the judicial system and are too damaged to risk going back to court to make the necessary changes - they simply don't trust the current system.

  • A system similar to that used by Revenue Canada needs to be put in place where the FRO will allow a third party to negotiate a settlement or ongoing agreement to end the arrears.

  • This would allow that parent to become more productive, to eliminate the waste of FRO resources, and more importantly to allow the disappearing dad to re-enter their child's life.

  • This re-entry is for a lifetime, the way that a parent-child relationship was intended!

Download "Media Release" - FRO Just Doesn't Get It
Download "Media Release" - The On-going Tragedy of the FRO
Download "Media Release" - Let Justice Be Done