How does the FMEP work? What can it do?

The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) recognizes the importance of support to families and children. But the FMEP does not work just for the recipient. It provides a service for both recipients and payors to help ensure the terms of their support orders are fulfilled, and strives for a good working relationship with all its clients.

If you are a recipient

  • The FMEP can work with the payor to come up with a plan for paying the arrears in addition to making his or her regular support payments.
  • If a voluntary payment plan does not work, the FMEP can take action to enforce your payments.
  • The FMEP cannot give you money unless it receives the money first from the payor.
  • The FMEP also cannot change your court order or agreement for support to a different amount or a different payment schedule.
  • If your circumstances have changed, it is your responsibility to work with your former spouse to write a new agreement, or to apply to the court for a new order. Please talk to a family justice counsellor for more information, or a lawyer for legal advice. Please also see our section on Going to Court.

If you are a payor

  • If you fall behind in your payments, you will need to contact FMEP. FMEP will work with you to develop a plan for paying the arrears in addition to making your regular support payments.
  • If a voluntary payment plan does not work, the FMEP will consider enforcement action.
  • The FMEP knows that sometimes it may be difficult for you to make all of your payments on time and in full. However, the FMEP does not have the authority to change the amount of support you are required to pay under a court order or agreement.
  • If you are having trouble making your scheduled payments, you may need to work with your former spouse to write a new agreement or to apply to the court for a new order. Please talk to a family justice counsellor for more information, or a lawyer for legal advice. Please also see our section on Going to Court.