Inter-Jurisdictional Support Orders

British Columbia has agreements about support order enforcement with all the Canadian provinces and territories, all of the United States, and several other foreign countries. These are reciprocating jurisdictions. This means that B.C. and each of the reciprocating jurisdictions agree to recognize the family support (maintenance) orders and agreements made in the other place. In other words, an order or written agreement made in one place can be enforced in the other.

The B.C. law about reciprocity is the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (ISO). Each reciprocating jurisdiction has a similar law.

Using the act, you can apply for a support order in one of the reciprocating jurisdictions without having to go there. You can also apply to change an existing support order.

The person making the application does not usually have to go to court. The respondent (the person in the reciprocating jurisdiction) goes to court to respond to the application. Under the act, the Director of Maintenance Enforcement is the designated authority in B.C. for administering applications for support orders from a reciprocal jurisdiction. The Interjurisdictional Support Services (IJSS) program is the support service provided by the Ministry of Attorney General to manage incoming and outgoing interjurisdictional support order cases in B.C.

There are several forms available for applications using the act. Not all of the forms are needed for every application. Further information about the process, including information about the forms that you will need, can be found at: www.isoforms.bc.ca or you can write to:

Interjurisdictional Support Services
Vancouver Main Office Boxes
P.O. Box 2074
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3S3

Note: If you are applying to change an order made under Canada's Divorce Act, this application process doesn't apply to you. The Divorce Act is a federal law and has its own rules about making and changing its orders. All applications must be made to the Supreme Court of the province. You may wish to contact a Family Justice Centre for free information or talk to a lawyer if you want to change your Divorce Act order.