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FAQs

Please note that Family Support Orders Service (FSOS) is now the Office of Support Enforcement (OSE). For all inquiries, please call the Toll-Free Infoline: 1-888-488-3767, or visit their website at http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/jps/justice/content/fsos.html

Support Enforcement

What is OSE?
How is an order filed with OSE?
If I do not have a court order, can I still file my support agreement with OSE?
Can I opt out of OSE?
What can OSE do if someone is not making support payments?
Can FSOS vary the amount of child support if the payer’s income goes up?
What are the responsibilities of the parent who pays support?
What are the responsibilities of the parent who receives support?

What is OSE?

The Office of Support Enforcement (OSE) is a part of the New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety.  Its goal is to promote a dependable flow of support payments.

OSE monitors and enforces support orders and agreements filed with the service by:

  • receiving payments from the Payer (the person paying the support);
  • keeping records of payments that are made;
  • forwarding the payment to the Beneficiary (the person receiving the support);
  • taking steps (when necessary) to ensure the Payer makes the required payments.
OSE does not pay beneficiaries until the due date specified in the support order or agreement. Any overpayments or early payments received by FSOS will be credited when future obligations come due.

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How is an order filed with OSE?

In New Brunswick, support orders issued by the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, Family Division under the Family Services Act or the Divorce Act are automatically filed with OSE.

If you live in New Brunswick and have a Canadian court order, you can opt into OSE. To do so, you must file a Notice to File a Support Order Form. This is also possible for orders from American states or some other countries.

Check with OSE if you have questions about a support order made outside of Canada.

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If I do not have a court order, can I still file my support agreement with OSE?

Beneficiaries and/or Payers who do not have court orders and who make their own support agreements (with or without the services of a lawyer) may register these agreements with the Court and then file them with FSOS if the agreement meets certain legal requirements.

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Can I opt out of OSE?

The person receiving support, the beneficiary, may choose to receive payments directly from the payer instead of using OSE to collect their support. To ensure the support order will not be filed with OSE, the beneficiary must file a Notice Not To File A Support Order Form.

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What can OSE do if someone is not making support payments?

OSE has the authority under federal and provincial laws to use various methods, when necessary, to collect overdue support payments. The methods OSE can use include, but are not limited to:
  • Initiate a Payment Order. This is commonly known as garnishment. Some examples of monies that can be garnished include: wages, pensions, income tax refunds, GST credits, workers’ compensation benefits, and bank accounts, including jointly held back accounts;
  • Demand information about a payer’s location, contact information, salary, employment, assets, or any other information that is considered necessary to enforce the order.  The information demands can be made to anyone, and may be done through direct searches of designated information banks. Information demanded must be provided within 14 days;
  • Report a payer to a credit bureau where the payer owes an amount greater than 3 months of support payments;
  • Suspend or revoke a payer’s drivers licence if the payer owes an amount greater than 4 months of support payments;
  • Make corporations liable for support owed by a payer where the Payer or the Payer’s family owns the corporation;
  • Ask the federal government to suspend, refuse to issue, or refuse to renew the payer’s passport and/or federal aviation or marine license if the payer owes an amount greater than 3 months of support payments;
  • Bring the case to Court for a Judge or Court Administrator to decide on additional enforcement action. This is called an enforcement hearing.

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Can OSE vary the amount of child support if the payer’s income goes up?

No, OSE cannot vary child support orders.  You must apply to court for a variation.  If both parents agree, you may write an agreement with the new support amount, register it with the court and then file the agreement with OSE. 
OSE CANNOT:

  • Give legal advice or act as a lawyer or counselor for either party;
  • Change the amount of your support order or agreement in any way based on changes in income;
  • Become involved in child access or visitation issues.

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What are the responsibilities of the parent who pays support?

  • Pay support obligations before any other obligations.  Courts treat support payments as a priority;
  • Make your support payment through OSE unless the support order or agreement is not filed with OSE;
  • Keep OSE informed of any change in your information or circumstances.  In addition to being a legal requirement, it is in your best interest to provide proof if you change employment, are no longer working, or are collecting income from other sources such as employment insurance, worker’s compensation, etc.;
  • Inform OSE immediately if you anticipate problems with paying your support;
  • Make your payments by the due date as set out in your order.  If this is not possible and there has been a change in your financial circumstances, it is up to you to seek a variation order.

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What are the responsibilities of the parent who receives support?

You must keep OSE informed of any changes in the information in your file.  Be sure to contact OSE immediately about things like changes in address or telephone numbers.  OSE requires a valid mailing address to process your payment.  If OSE finds they do not have a valid mailing address, they will stop all payments until they receive a valid address, even if arrangements have been made for electronic payments or direct deposit.

*For detailed information, please refer to the series of booklets on OSE.

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