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Family law: What to do when spousal support isn't being paid

When a former spouse agrees to pay spousal support and then reneges, it can be frustrating and may create financial hardship. But family law rules in Ontario dictate that there are things that can be done to try to enforce an order, but only under certain conditions. It can be rather tricky if either party has moved out of the area in which the order was granted.

The payee is pretty much in a no-win situation if the area to which the payor moves doesn't enforce the court order issued in another area. In hindsight, a divorce settlement should make mention of such a possibility and perhaps the payee may even agree to a one-time sum. By getting the money up front, there will be no worries about the payor not making good on his or her court-ordered spousal support payments.

Older Canadian payees may want to investigate whether the payor's pension benefits could be split. The payor does not have to consent to the payee going this route. A spouse should be entitled to the equalization of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments. 

An Ontario family law lawyer may be able to help a client whose former spouse is not making good on spousal support payments. A lawyer will be able to advise on the pros and cons of a one-lump settlement payment. Whether someone is a payor or a payee, a lawyer will be able to offer guidance within the context of the laws in Ontario that govern spousal support. 

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