Can you enforce a support order made outside BC?

If you have a support order that was made outside BC, you can still enforce it. One way to do this is by enrolling with the BC Family Maintenance Agency (BCFMA) to enforce support (also called maintenance) It's a provincial government program that collects and tracks support

If you enroll with BCFMA, they'll enforce an order or written agreement for child or spousal support from any court that has a reciprocal agreement with BC. BC has reciprocal agreements with all the provinces and territories in Canada, all the U.S. states, and many countries around the world to recognize and enforce each other’s support orders. These reciprocating jurisdictions collect on family support orders and agreements made in other reciprocating jurisdictions.

See Interjurisdictional Support Orders (ISO) on the Ministry of Attorney General website for a full list of countries that have reciprocal agreements with BC.

Expand the heading that fits your situation to find out how to enforce your support order.

If you both live in BC, enrol in BCFMA. Please see below.

If you don't live in BC but want to enforce your order in BC because the person who is supposed to pay support lives here or has property or assets here, first register your order in the support enforcement agency where you live. 

BCFMA will take enforcement action on behalf of that enforcement agency. 

If there is no agency where you live, contact BCFMA to find out how they can help you

If you live in BC but the other person doesn't, enrol in BCFMA. Please see below.

If the payor lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction, BCFMA will ask the support enforcement agency where the payor lives to collect support owing on the order or agreement. 

If the payor lives somewhere that doesn't have an enforcement agency, BCFMA will still try to collect support if the other person lives in Canada by, for example, preventing renewal of a Canadian passport or taking a Canadian tax refund for unpaid support.

Enrol in FMEP

To get an enrolment application for BCFMA either:

Give BCFMA your application along with a certified copy of your order.

A certified copy has a court stamp on it and is signed by a court official to show it's an authentic (real) copy. If your order isn't certified already, contact the court where it was made to find out how to get it certified.

BCFMA will register the order in a Court Registry on your behalf in accordance with the Interjurisdictional Support Order Act. Once the order is registered, it can be enforced by BCFMA even though the order wasn't made in BC. It's a free service.

Updated on 24 April 2024