Enforcement of child and spousal support payments between provinces, territories and countries

Important: As of February 1, 2024, families in Ontario and Manitoba may be eligible to receive child or spousal support for which they were not previously eligible from parents outside Canada. Families in British Columbia may be eligible on March 1, 2024. For more information, see 2024 child support changes.

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2024 child support changes

The Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (2007 Convention) applies to the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario as of February 1, 2024, and as of March 1, 2024, in British Columbia.

This means that the number of countries with which these provinces can establish, vary or enforce child (and spousal) support orders will increase and more children and families will benefit. These changes will also help parents abroad enforce child support orders in these provinces.

In Canada, there is a Federal Central Authority and a Provincial Central Authority in each province where the 2007 Convention applies: Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia. The Provincial Central Authorities are primarily responsible for cooperation with other Central Authorities and processing applications under the 2007 Convention. The Federal Central Authority helps other Central Authorities locate persons when their whereabouts in Canada is unknown.

If you live in Manitoba or Ontario and want to apply for child support under the 2007 Convention, contact one of the Provincial Central Authorities.

It is anticipated that the Convention will be implemented across more Canadian provinces and territories over time. Each Canadian province and territory will determine when they are ready for implementation in their jurisdiction. As new Canadian provinces and territories apply the 2007 Convention, information will be available on this website.

Reciprocity Arrangements

All Canadian provinces and territories have reciprocity arrangements with each other and with certain other countries. These arrangements allow parents to establish, vary or enforce a support order in a reciprocating province, territory or country. Even if Canada is a Party to the 2007 Convention, these arrangements still apply.

Each province and territory develops its own reciprocity arrangements.

The United States

All provinces and territories except Quebec have reciprocity arrangements with the U.S. government. These federal arrangements apply to all American states and territories.

Quebec does not have a reciprocity arrangement with the U.S. government. However, it has arrangements with the following states:

If you live outside of Canada

A Canadian province or territory may enforce your support order or agreement only if it has a reciprocity arrangement with your country.

Information for lawyers

An article titled Some Considerations for Practitioners in Inter-jurisdictional Support Cases has information that you may find useful in cases where your client and the other party live in different jurisdictions.