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Navigating support payments: The role of Yukon’s maintenance enforcement program

Program offers free support enforcing child support and spousal support payments
Photo courtesy of the Yukon Department of Justice.

After the orders have been made or agreements signed, the next challenge for many individuals experiencing a separation or divorce involves collecting their child and/or spousal support entitlements. It’s one thing to sign a legal document, but it can be an entirely different challenge having its directions enforced.

“The Maintenance Enforcement Program is designed to make it easier for everyone involved to make or receive payments. The service is provided entirely free of charge and anyone can register with the program as long as they have a court-order or court-filed agreement,” says Lori Zazulak, Manager at the Department of Justice’s Family Law Supports Program.

So what happens if your ex-spouse refuses to pay? Zazulak and her team get asked this question often and the answer is, “quite a lot.”

“We have the authority to conduct searches of the paying party, their sources of income and any assets they may have. We can issue enforcement actions, such as garnishing wages, bank accounts, money owed to them from the Canada Revenue Agency and other sources. We can also suspend their driver’s license and registration, passports, place liens on their property and even seize and sell their property to pay outstanding amounts,” Zazulak says. “Now while we can do all of the above, we prefer to work with the respondent to find a suitable payment agreement that works for both sides.”

Along with assisting with the enforcement of your court-order or court-filed agreements, the program also work with individuals who have arrears owing for missed payments to arrange a payment agreement to help resolve the arrears. Zazulak also notes that only one party needs to be residing in the Yukon.

“As long as one party lives here in the Yukon, we can help resolve maintenance concerns. We work closely with maintenance enforcement programs in all provinces and territories in Canada for parties to pay and receive their support payments. We also have reciprocal agreements with several other countries in order to assist clients where the payor lives internationally,” Zazulak says.

Have a child and/or spousal support concern? Find more information online here or reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone: 1-867-667-5437.

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