Unpaid child and spousal support at all-time high - Macleans.ca

Unpaid child and spousal support at all-time high

More than 400,000 cases in arrears


Unpaid child and spousal support hit a new high of $2.7 billion across Canada—up from $2.5 billion in November 2009, Statistics Canada reports. As of March 31, 2010, there were nearly 408,000 cases, most involving children, registered in maintenance enforcement programs, which process cases to ensure support is paid. (The study did not include Manitoba and Nunavut which don’t report such data.) In any given month, the survey said, just under one-third of cases were not in full compliance with payment. In March 2010, the majority of cases involving regular support payments had an average due between $1 and $400. Just over five per cent of cases owed more than $1,000.


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Unpaid child and spousal support at all-time high

  1. This is because of the incredibly stupi Canadian law that allows the spouses to submit additional claims for pretty much every expense they do for the child on top of the regular payment.

    Because then they get additional money on top of the support. So everybody collects bills and submits them to this stupid organization so that nobody can ever pay in full.

    Get it?

    • Better pay up while you can! All these arrears are othewise going to come out of your Old Age Security and CPP. A child support debt never goes away.

  2. Dear Ridiculous Bills,
    I know that there are a lot of ex partners that do this. Men and women, however there are a lot of us like myself who just wanted help to raise my children…they are his children too. Instead he left the country with his girlfriend and never paid a dime. His arears are over $50,000. He has travelled all over the world and has had a carefree life for the last 16 years, while I worked 2 jobs so that I could support my kids properly. Maintenance enfocement has never suceeded in helping collect anything and if I did get a couple of hundred dollars a few times a year, I was told he was doing the best he could. I found that over the years he had more rights than I did and the government agencies were no help at all.

  3. The MEP program (maintenance enforcement) in Alberta is just a joke! I withdrew myself from the system years ago because it is ineffective.
    I don't know about the systems used in other provinces but Alberta MEP needs a revamp.

  4. Child support should be against the Law.
    It causes Women to throw the book at Men, calling them everything from child molesters to wife beaters to gain custody so that the money flows one way.
    This causes the children to become pawns. They are not the Mothers children, they are the Parents children and should live in both homes equally.
    The present system punishes men. It is bad as Rape. Men have feelings, children have feelings, they want each other, But the system favors mothers and harms everyone else.

    Remove Child support and in a flash most of the court issues would drop. Men would be more giving, and only in extreem situations would a Parent have to pay another cause they don't want visitation.

    Save our Children, End child support.

  5. Its funny how one minute a couple is in bed together and the next in court. And its always the Mans fault, even if its not. Hookers have a better chance to see their children then men.
    All men are Black in Canada. The White man is the new Black.
    If you have been through the system you know how wrong it is. Many Men end up with Post Tramatic Stress disorder from fighting for their Family against Bullies and Slander.

    Its all about the kids they say, NO, its all about the money.

    • Wow what BS you spout. It goes both ways. My good for nothing ex, who is a MALE, is going after child and spousal support after he stole money from me, forged my signature on my line of credit, and still believes he is owed something from me because he's too lazy to work hard.

  6. It's a broken, one sided system that is as outdated as outhouses. If you are the payor it is virtually impossible to get your hands on any of the paper work….talking to a human in person will NOT happen .
    If the MEP wants to have so much power it needs to be a balanced affair. What makes them think that treating the payor like some kinda criminal is encouraging them to be part of the system?
    Filing the paper work when your income changes is a joke….they make the process so difficult you give up….that information should be updated the minute you file taxes and your monthly payment adjusted accordingly…….I'll bet half that arrears debt would be gone!!!!!!

    • I bet most of the women getting the monies, do not report this as income. They have to. There should be a section on the income tax that states the mothers name and address and how much she is getting. The gov't needs to compare this to what the blood sucker is claiming, then audit if there are differences.

      • Child support is not income of the custodial parent, nor is it a deduction for the non-custodial parent, in the same way that the 'other portion' isn't a deduction for the custodial parent or income of the non-custodial parent. I'm not sure whether the courts have taken the tax effects into proper consideration or not, but I do know this has gone to the Supreme Court and is a done deal.

        I do see both sides of the story–I think it's ridiculous that the paying person has to pay the RATE of child support they tend to have to (it seems not to take into account the amount the non-paying parent would have to pay for living expenses for him/herself–i.e., a two-bedroom apartment might cost $800, but a bachelor apartment costs well over one-third of that). That said, without enforcement many payors just skip out–we've already tried it that way, and many are still doing it (as the statistics show). The system needs tweaking, for sure. But I don't think anybody above is really advancing their cause any.

        • You'll be pleased to know that one of the most common issues before the Tax Court of Canada is the proper tax treatment of child support payments.

          • Well, I guess in the sense that it rather proves my point (which didn't need proving, LOL) that the system needs to be tweaked, I suppose this does back me up. Other than that, I'm not pleased, but I'm not surprised, either.

            It is such a shame, though, that the issue is a 'he said, she said' when really, everybody here is on the same side–FIX THE SYSTEM. If you could speak with one voice to that effect, it might gain the power to be heard.

          • I meant only to say that the tax treatment of support payments is applied correctly and often. Usually the cases aren't about difficulties with the underlying legal principle, it's factual disagreements about the situation between the parties.

  7. Frustrated in AB , I totally agree with you! I was a Mom in Ontario, working two jobs and trying to battle alientation syndrome because even though their father took off to Northern British Colombia and never paid child support, I did not tell my children they could not take his calls. To all the fathers out there that feel the Family Court system has let them down, please know that there are as many mothers out there that feel the same way! Best wishes to all of us and our children that have been blindsided

  8. Wow waileamean, I agree with almost all you state. However, did you ever give a thought to how your wife felt when she found out you were gay? Come on, it has an effect and it would be hard for anyone to deal with. I appreciate your honesty and I respect your thoughts but did you ever truly think about how she might have had to deal with this revelation?

  9. Joanne commented on how my X might have felt on my revelation on being gay. Well, I did ask her that once and it did not matter to her at all. In fact my partner and I have stayed at her home and like I said, traveled together. She had absolutely zero regard to how I felt on issues in her life, ie: sleeping with our best friend and zero regard on how that would effect his family or our children. Quite frankly, I really do not care how this may have made her feel. She made her own bed and laid in it long before she found out I was gay. It was all about the money and what she could have gotten out of the deal. Turns out, nothing. It is what it is.

  10. this article is not about married men turning gay…it is about selfish arse holes who like to make babies but not support them and protect them and feed them and make sure the children they helped create are safe and healthy…that is disgusting and they should be jailed

  11. That's because all of the "deadbeat" dads are unemployed and still building up arrears. Unemployment or underemployment isn't an acceptible excuse.

    Check the local homeless shelter if you want to find all of the deadbeat dads. Put them in jail and take your pint of blood you vampires.

  12. "how easy, your rich", I am not really,


    Actually, you proudly state that you are "very wealthy" only a few sentences before.

    • whatever, move on.

      • Already have. Doesn't change your own description of yourself.

  13. I suggest that all parents are legally responsible for raising their children.

    If they don't have a job, they go to jail.

    • go to Jail if you don't have a job? Should the mothers go to Jail who don't have a job? How about your mom or dad? MORON….almost ten percent of the continent is unemployed.

  14. Except that when you're poor and living on the streets, you also can't afford legal bills and income becomes imputed for what you should be making. It takes forever to get in front of a judge and arrears accumulate.

  15. Whew ! Reading all these comments, I'm sure glad that, a generation ago, I was impecunious and unattractive to Canadian women. (I know, I know, the women are pretty relieved as well.) My best wishes to all who have had to deal with custody, whatever your faults or those of the courts, and to your kids.

  16. In March 2010, the majority of cases involving regular support payments had an average due between $1 and $400.

    So, in in 95% of cases, a month or less behind. While not ideal, not exactly cause for alarm.

    • Right, those poor guys making money under the table who have to pay 100 a month to help raise their own kids. Isn't that HORRIBLE? Beer and cigarettes cost more.

  17. VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE! Men need to find a local MP who is willing to stand for balancing the system. A system that has alienated men, making them fight for even the right to visit their children. A system that allows the childs mother to even suggest she has been "scared" of the father and he loses any right to custody….but must pay ten percent of his gross pay as net (read 20% per child!!!!!!!! after taxes). The same system that doesn't allow men to claim "child support" as "child expenses" on their taxes. Bullied out of our childs lives by lies and a nasty one sided system….made dead beats after not being able to put food in our own mouths after working a forty hour week. Time to VOTE GUYS!

  18. Both Men and Women need to realize that once you have a child there is no more ME, Your children should come first, they should eat first, be dressed first, and so on. I believe the problem here with deadbeat Dads and Moms is because they like to put themselves first. Some people really need to think about there responsiblities before making stupid decisions. Go out and get a second job if needed so you can support your children, As they need to come before yourself.

    • No, it's mostly MEN who have to decide it's not about them….look around the world, it's not exactly women failing their children now, is it?

      • You are probably right about it mostly being men. But I thought I would just be fair considering there are some women who do fail.

  19. Notice how all the males are WHINING about how the women are keeping them from their kids. That's crap. Men only decide they care after they are forced to actually accept some responsibiity and help care for their own children.

  20. Sorry, it's the whiny deadbeat dads who are the vengeful ones; women are too tired working and raising their children. Stop with the stereotypes, hon.

  21. I am a man who has three children and I willingly pay the ordered amount of support to my ex-wife. That being said, the ex-girlfriend that I lived with for six years had the gall to demand child support for HER three children after we broke up, while collecting support from the kids biological father. Then after the breakup, she went and bought a house, suckered someone into giving her a car, THEN gave me a Christmas present of arrears. So tell me this, where is the equality here when I am now supporting my own children, and someone elses kids? I can't afford a house, much less even rent a house. I board with a family member and just barely get by!
    Where is the morality or decency in this world anymore? I really despise being tarnished with the "deadbeat" brush when I work my a** off to stay afloat. The system is extremely flawed and I agree with some of the comments made, the government in its infinite wisdom has put its nose into something where it doesn't belong: the family! Gold-digging at its best, on behalf of both the system and women who are looking for a free ride!

  22. Like I said before, once you have children, biologically or not they come first. I think the system is fair. Shouldnt most people want more for their children then they had. With regards to where is the morality or decency how about all those who try to skip out on what their children deserve, where is the morality or decency in that?

  23. I am the debtor and unfortunately due to sickness and maternity leave partnered with economic changes I am behind in my support order, I have been slapped with every restriction MEP can put on me. It has taken 2 years to finally get a reply or contact from MEP other then further restrictions or demands for financial statements.
    I have now learned that the wording of my order is an issue. I have 2 children, 1 is 19 and on his own for some time, but my order is per month.. not per child so I am being billed the amount for 2 children. I know now that I have to return to court to have the wording changed. I know now that I can apply in Alberta to a Saskatchewan court . The court houses have a family law center that can help parents fill out a Provisional Variation order from one province to another. It will take another 6 months to complete.. but this is what I must do. MEP has been no help at all.
    I have lost my job, license , passport, ID, bank account and most importantly my children. Over the last 3 years of not being able to afford to both pay and travel to see them, and then losing my car and license I have not seen my children in 2 years.
    There is no apology that can bring that back.. no form to fill out or pat on the head to make me feel better about that.

    All it would have taken.. is someone to listen to my story and know the answer to my question. I went through MEP, law offices , MLA and every other source of information I could think of to fix my situation.
    The system is flawed, no one is watching the watchers.. there is a HUGE crack in the system and not all but some custodial parents are using the system to punish and control.
    Federal gov't says MEP is a provincial issue but it is not. Orders are enforced across provincial borders and |Federal ID and funds .. and CIVIL RIGHTS are being revoked by MEP

  24. My ex currently owes close to $3000 for child support, and they have already suspended his drivers license, passport and issued a writ of seizure and sale of his accounts and property. The next step is FRO taking him to court and trying to force him to pay, and if still no payments, I am curious how much he would need to be in arrears before he would serve any jailtime?

  25. …and to the comments below — child support in Ontario is a NON-TAXABLE income, therefore not reported. The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is a government and federal run program which will chase after the payor so that the custodial parent doesnt have to. To Scott_G, some children dont have shoes on their feet because their parents cant afford to, so child support would defnitely help, no? Why should one parent be solely responsible for the upbringing and financial care of the child, while the other just gets to visit from time to time? Loving a child means wanting the best for them, and food, clothing, bedding, school supplies and medicine all cost MONEY, to which BOTH parents should contribute. They sure were both contributing when the baby was made. Not all non-custodial parents are reliable to pay up.

  26. Hows about selfish no good for nothing women, when you break up, give them 600,000 plus in property and the nice guy walks away with nothing. Signed it over to her for one verbal agreement to see his doughtier when ever he wanted to due to his job working away with short notice on days off, he did not want to hurt his daughters life style at alllllll, dam greed, crazy woman with power , wasn’t 3 months after signing over land for free which i could of taken half of…. Next thing he knows the snot nosed btch takes him to maintenance and lys about back payments for support cus you were giving the so called honourable woman cash payments with no record….. Maintenece Idiots don’t ask any questions the just send a bill for what ever she tells them in back support…. you greedy low lives should get a life…… and the maintenance program is a JOKE god dam JOKE

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  28. As a mother of a 6 year old little girl, who up until a year ago, saw her father every other weekend like clockwork, I take great offence to some people on here talking about how all ex wives,gfs etc are conniving and money hungry. My daughters father, saw her every other weekend, sometimes more often than that, even though I NEVER saw a dime of the court ordered support ($200/month). It has been a year since he decided he no longer wanted to be a part of our daughters life, and he is approximately $10,000 in debt. He has absolutely nothing in his name, and when he does get a job.. if the Family Responsibility Office does find him.. he quits immediately so they cant garnish his wages. They have suspended his license. which does him no good since he doesn’t have a car any ways… and he’s living with his wife’s father. Regardless of the opinions of some shallow minded men on this site, there are mothers out there, who just wanted their kids to have a relationship with their father and who let the money slide! I now however am trying everything to have some kinda punishment dished out for him… as he spend 5 years growing this attachment to our daughter, only to walk away without so little as a phone call.. and for those of you who are going to say “well why are you going after the money now, if the money was never the point” the answer is.. because when we separated we didn’t go through a judge for a settlement.. we did mediation.. meaning anything and EVERYTHING in our court/separation agreement.. was agreed upon by both of us before it was signed and sworn in by a judge… This deadbeat, agreed and offered up the $200/month in the court order. The ONLY person who has suffered from this fiasco is our 6 year old daughter, who for weeks blamed herself for his disappearance.. that she must have been bad or something.. and it took me almost 6 months to convince her that SHE did absolutely nothing wrong!