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Family law orders reach across provincial borders

It is said that one cannot run away from trouble, because there isn't anywhere far enough away. Certainly one cannot escape from a family law order simply by leaving the province of issue. A court-ordered obligation will follow a person wherever he or she goes in Canada, and is enforceable in any district. A former resident of Ontario may soon learn the full extent to which one can be punished for shirking a judge's order.

An Ontario judge issued a child support order to a father in 2011. In 2014, the father moved to Nova Scotia, and the order was transferred to that province. For unknown reasons, he did not make any payments. 

Repeated summons to appear in court did nothing to resolve the matter. On some occasions, he apparently asked for delays to seek legal counsel, counsel that never materialized, and once he called in sick. As of March 2017, the man was over $34,000 behind on payments and had still not provided the court with a reason, despite having his driver's licence and passport revoked. The judge presiding over the case gave him until June to comply with the order. Should he fail once again, he faces arrest and probable jail time.

Those who have a court order issued to them must obey that order, no matter where their life takes them. Many parents depend on child support to make ends meet, so it is only right that willful failure to make payment be properly punished. Any person having difficulty with a child support order in Ontario, or who has questions about his or her family law agreement, may benefit from a conversation with a lawyer.

Source:, "Sydney man's drivers licence, passport revoked over unpaid child support", May 1, 2017

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