Costly mistake

Ministry of Community and Social Services (Family Responsibility Office)

Date: 2010

A man complained to the Ombudsman that FRO was not enforcing a June 2005 court order directing his ex-wife to pay $1,079 per month for their two children. He was owed more than $30,000. When the man complained to FRO that he had received no support for years, he was told the ex-wife’s obligations had been suspended as a result of a September 2005 court order stemming from a motion she had filed.

Ombudsman staff determined that FRO had made an error in the application of a condition in that court order, and incorrectly stopped enforcing the order against the ex-wife. FRO reviewed the file at our request and acknowledged its error, along with several missed opportunities to collect support payments in the case.

Resuming its enforcement, FRO reached an agreement with the ex-wife to pay the arrears at $800 per month, in addition to the required monthly support. FRO also apologized to the man and provided him with the contact information for the enforcement officer assigned to his case, should he encounter any problems in the future.