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What is the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program

It is sad to know that there are parents who fail to provide financial support to their children after their relationship has ended. Reports also reveal that there are men and women who refuse to give financial backing to their former spouse after the separation. The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program is a free government program of the British Columbia Ministry of Justice, under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act, which aims to monitor and put into effect every support order and agreement that has been submitted to the program.

The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program is designed to take account of arrears and send payments to the support recipient. Recording of payments will also be performed as an integral part of the program. This set of coded instructions also aims to perform the necessary action in order to guarantee that the payor will provide the agreed amount of financial support.

Anyone who lives in British Columbia can enrol in this program provided the person holds a valid support order from a court in Canada, the United States, or in other countries where there is a reciprocal agreement with British Columbia.

If the payor is in default, the FMEP can:   

  • Collect money including arrears as stipulated by a maintenance order
  • Keep an account of all payments and missed payments
  • Send the money to the designated recipient
  • Instigate enforcement action if payments are not received
  • Garnish wages, bank accounts, federal income (income tax refunds), and other sources of income of payor
  • Have driver’s licence & vehicle registrations of payor withheld
  • Suspend passport of payor
  • Make a report to credit bureau for unpaid support
  • Issue payor a summons of default in court
  • Issue liens against payor’s property