Provinces and territories will work together to trace and locate parents who are not paying court-ordered child support.
Premier Stephen McNeil and B.C. Premier Christy Clark will work with justice ministers across Canada to explore ways of strengthening the maintenance enforcement system and to improve the rate of collection of payments awarded to families by the courts.
“Parents have a duty to raise and support their children,” said Premier McNeil. “We all know that family breakup can be a sad reality, but the obligation to your children remains. And when the courts determine that one parent owes child support, they should be expected to pay it, regardless of where they live.”
Premier McNeil asked his colleagues for their co-operation during Council of the Federation meetings which conclude today, July 17, in St. John’s, N.L.
Information-sharing arrangements exist nationally, but it can still be challenging to locate someone who moves to another province or territory.
Cases are more likely to be in arrears when the parent ordered to provide child support lives in a different province or territory than the parent caring for the child.
Nova Scotia is also taking steps to improve the maintenance enforcement program provincially. The province’s 20-year-old program is under review, and the results and measures to improve the program will be released later this summer.