What Happens When One Party Lives Outside Ontario?

What Happens When One Party Lives Outside Ontario?

Things are already very complicated in family law. But, when one party lives outside Ontario, in another province or even another country, it’s even harder. Filing forms with courts in other countries can mean waiting years to hear back from those international courts. Some other countries are very corrupt and do not follow the strict systems of Canada.

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) in Ontario has agreements with every province in Canada and every state in the USA. Therefore, it’s easy to enforce a family law judgement that you receive in Ontario in these areas.

There is also a list of countries that FRO has agreements with. The challenge becomes when you get a court order in Ontario, and the other person is not in a place with a FRO agreement.

Our Law Firm

Our law firm is unique in that we are 100% based online. This means that regardless of where you are in Ontario, we can help you with legal advice. It’s important to get legal advice. If you make mistakes in family law, you can get hit with cost orders. It’s always better to do it right the first time.

Our law firm can also do separation agreements and start family law pleadings.

When One Party Lives Outside OntarioWhen One Party Lives Outside Ontario- Get Legal Help

If the other person lives in a country that is not a reciprocating jurisdiction, you can still take action. But the family lawyer you hire will have two options:

  1. Work with a family lawyer in the other country
  2. Try and get the family law court in the other country to accept the order

If the other person does not live in a reciprocating jurisdiction, you will often need a lawyer as it’s very complex.

The video below is from Florida, but might be helpful.

Being Able To Change Your Support Order

If you want to change an order, you will have to fill out a bunch of forms. Our lawyers can help you with this. The form filled out is normally a support variation application form. If you don’t want to hire a lawyer, you can go into the courts and ask them.

You will likely have to do an oath and hire a notary public or a lawyer. Once the form is completed, it will normally be filed in the courthouse nearest to you. Sometimes it may be better to file in another courthouse. If you need legal advice, we have a $700 package where you can get two hours of legal advice from a lawyer. This is a flat fee.

Sometimes the forms are sent directly to FRO. Again, it’s important to find out the right place to file things. Sometimes this changes depending on what you are trying to do. Normally after everything is filed, there will be a court hearing.

The Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

This act allows you to pursue enforcement when one person lives in Ontario and the other lives in one of the areas that FRO has an agreement with.

You can use the Support Orders Act to:

  • Getting an order
  • Changing an order
  • Get a support order enforced

People in locations with FRO agreements can also enforce their orders in Ontario. Divorce Act orders do not need to be registered in an Ontario court. This is because they are federal.

When One Party Lives Outside OntarioWhen One Party Lives Outside Ontario- International Agreements:

United Kingdom

New Zealand



New Zealand


Czech Republic



South Africa



Hong Kong





Therefore, if the other party is in one of these countries, it’s much easier. This is not a complete list. If you want to learn more about family law, see our videos.