All Manitoba orders for support payments are automatically filed with the Maintenance Enforcement Program and dealt with by an enforcement officer (designated officer). The support recipient must provide the designated officer with completed registration documents before the Maintenance Enforcement Program will begin enforcing their order.
Is it possible to opt-out of the Program?
Persons entitled to support under orders enforced by the Program, who do not want the Program involved any more, must complete and sign an opt-out form and give it to the designated officer. Anyone receiving social assistance cannot opt out.
Is it possible to re-enroll in the Program?
A person who has opted out of the Maintenance Enforcement Program may re-enroll by filing a completed and signed form and a sworn statement of the amount of support owing under the order or agreement (arrears of support). Opt-out and re-enrollment forms are available at Maintenance Enforcement Program offices or on the program’s website.
Can support agreements be enforced by the Program?
Written support agreements made in Manitoba can be enforced through the Maintenance Enforcement Program in the same way as court orders, as long as the parties agree in writing that payments will be made through MEP. The support agreement must also be suitable for enforcement through MEP. For example, the agreement must be worded clearly enough so the Program can tell precisely how much support is owed.
Can family arbitration awards be enforced by the Program?
Family arbitration awards that include child support, spousal support, or common-law partner support and comply with the requirements in The Arbitration Act may also be enforced by the Program if the award is registered with the court.
Can support orders and agreements made outside Manitoba be enforced by the Program?
Support orders and some agreements from other parts of Canada can be registered in Manitoba under The Inter-jurisdictional Support Orders Act. Once this occurs, the Program enforces payments in the same way as if they had been ordered by a Manitoba court. Similarly, support orders and some agreements from a number of foreign countries can also be registered and enforced in Manitoba, as long as the country is one with which Manitoba has made maintenance enforcement arrangements (a reciprocating jurisdiction).
To find out whether support orders from a particular country can be enforced in Manitoba, contact the Family Law Section, Legal Services Branch, Manitoba Justice at ISOQuestions@gov.mb.ca or 204-945-0268 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-800-282-8069 (Ext. 0268).