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FRO Clause in Draft Order - How to fix the issues

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  • FRO Clause in Draft Order - How to fix the issues

    We have just been served the Draft Order from our trial last week. It is very poorly worded. In fact, it doesn't look at all like the minutes of settlement because there are words missing which leave ambiguity in what is written. And example of this is:

    The Applicant is waived from all Section 7 expenses.
    It should say The Applicant is waived and released from all Section 7 Expenses... (the release was in the minutes of settlement).

    So we will complete the appropriate forms to serve back on the lawyer with our objections. But I have one thing I need help clarifying please:

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]-->Unless this order is withdrawn from the Family Responsibility Office, it shall be enforced by the Director and the amounts owing under the order shall be paid to the Director, who shall pay them to the recipient. Where sufficient deductions are not being made by support deduction order, payment may be remitted to the Director, Family Responsibility Office;

    What exactly does the bolded part mean? The whole paragraph was not in the minutes of settlement but I understand that the text up until the bolded part are standard in any Order that deals with child support. I'm not sure what it means (head full up! lol) so we would like some input from those that are more technical with legal wording.

    The text below also bothers us. The lawyer put this on the draft Order but of course the interest rate is left blank. I'm thinking we should put "ZERO" on the line so as not to cause any further issues down the road. No interest rate was ever contemplated so zero would be appropriate. Thoughts?

    This Order bears interest at the rate of ______ per cent per annum on any payment or payments in respect of which there is a default from the date of default.


    We also have one other issue - both parties and mom's two lawyers never thought to put in anything about mother's day and father's day. We have no issue in mom having kids for mother's day and dad having kids for father's day but given the lateness of our court appearance and this oversight we have an issue this year:

    Dad has the kids for mother's day because it was overlooked by all parties. Mom even missed it after the court date when preparing the school bus schedule as the kids are coming home on mother's day weekend to dad and going back to school the monday morning after mother's day from dad's house too... Dad booked a small vacation for him and the children for that weekend the day after court. It never occured to him that it was mother's day weekend (as the mother didn't either when filling out the bus schedule). It is a non refundable vacation.

    If the kids do go to mom's for mother's day then the issue is the vacation cannot be had as this particular event/vacation can only happen over 2 specific weekends in May - May long weekend and/or mother's day weekend. We are thinking of asking mom if this oversight can be dismissed for this year where dad will keep the kids for Mother's day and her keep the kids for Father's day. The kids have been looking forward to this event and otherwise it can't happen and money will be lost. Thoughts?

  • #2
    We have just been served the Draft Order from our trial last week.
    You mean your new partner and his ex-wife's trial.

    Where sufficient deductions are not being made by support deduction order, payment may be remitted to the Director, Family Responsibility Office;
    I'm not sure but I'm assuming that means if FRO doesn't have enough to deduct from per your employer for what you owe, that you can remit monies owing on your account directly to them to make up the difference.

    The text below also bothers us. The lawyer put this on the draft Order but of course the interest rate is left blank. I'm thinking we should put "ZERO" on the line so as not to cause any further issues down the road. No interest rate was ever contemplated so zero would be appropriate. Thoughts?

    This Order bears interest at the rate of ______ per cent per annum on any payment or payments in respect of which there is a default from the date of default.
    I think it would be inappropriate for you to fill in anything on the order...especially if its signed. The originals will be available on file anyway. There is a standard interest charged by FRO on late balances (I think its 3%) and it won't become an issue if you pay on-time.

    If the kids do go to mom's for mother's day then the issue is the vacation cannot be had as this particular event/vacation can only happen over 2 specific weekends in May - May long weekend and/or mother's day weekend. We are thinking of asking mom if this oversight can be dismissed for this year where dad will keep the kids for Mother's day and her keep the kids for Father's day. The kids have been looking forward to this event and otherwise it can't happen and money will be lost. Thoughts?
    There's only really two choices. The children's father can try to reach consensus with their mother by email or he can try to go through the process of having the order amended per his lawyer. Generally if you ask for something and give up something in the process, people can find resolution. But this type of stuff will be an ongoing negotiation process with the kid's bio parents.
    Last edited by Pursuinghappiness; 01-28-2014, 02:15 PM.

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    • #3
      You mean your new partner and his ex-wife's trial.
      We are not new partners. We have been together for a long time and have a child together.

      I'm not sure but I'm assuming that means if FRO doesn't have enough to deduct from per your employer for what you owe, that you can remit monies owing on your account directly to them to make up the difference.

      I think it would be inappropriate for you to fill in anything on the order...especially if its signed. The originals will be available on file anyway. There is a standard interest charged by FRO on late balances (I think its 3%) and it won't become an issue if you pay on-time.
      I am not suggesting filling anything without the other party/lawyer knowing. It is a DRAFT order meaning we are supposed to point out the issues and recommend a solution. My bad for not wording my original post correctly but my husband is not comfortable with leaving an amount for interest blank.

      There's only really two choices. The children's father try to reach consensus with their mother by email or he can try to go through the process of having the order amended per his lawyer. Generally if you ask for something and give up something in the process, people can find resolution. But this type of stuff will be an ongoing negotiation process with the kid's bio parents.
      There really is negotiation with mom unfortunately. We actually don't even need to point this out to her but we aren't like that. It will be an issue now or later, might as well point it out now. I suspect we will go without regardless...

      Comment


      • #4
        You mean your partner and his ex-wife's trial.
        Corrected, but point is the same.

        There really is negotiation with mom unfortunately. We actually don't even need to point this out to her but we aren't like that. It will be an issue now or later, might as well point it out now. I suspect we will go without regardless...
        Then he can choose to go to his lawyer and get the order amended. I can tell you though that even if you amend it today for what you want and she agrees and it gets put into a final order, these types of negotiations are standard fodder going forward and there's no way that you can write everything into a court order.

        I have a very difficult ex and there is ALWAYS a way to negotiate and compromise. But it requires your partner to put on his big-boy pants and deal with her in a reasonable manner. In my opinion, that would process would be helped if there was less 3rd party interference.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a very difficult ex and there is ALWAYS a way to negotiate and compromise. But it requires your partner to put on his big-boy pants and deal with her in a reasonable manner. In my opinion, that would process would be helped if there was less 3rd party interference.
          No one suggested any 3rd party interference.

          In fact I didn't suggest any interference at all. It was an oversight of everyone and we will no doubt have to absorb that error. It is what it is...It will likely be that we just don't go and lose the money as there isn't anything else to give up at this juncture. Although we are supposed to have our fair share of the holidays this year we already gave those up because mom said she had vacation plans for the kids. We can't give up what we don't have.

          Comment


          • #6
            The way the FRO portion of your order is worded is pretty standard, and understood by the FRO. Pertaining to the waiver/release portion; It would only come into effect if there are arrears in section 7 claims where you would want those arrears expunged from a previous order with a resultant of zero on this new order. I believe the remittance part of the order is so that the FRO can go though the CRA, and get tax returns/other refunds.

            Comment


            • #7
              My interpretation is that money is to be paid through FRO - not directly to the mother.

              Mom and Dad can figure out the Father/Mother's day schedule if it was overlooked in court.

              I think you might be best to step aside and let the parents figure this out on their own.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Serene View Post
                Unless this order is withdrawn from the Family Responsibility Office, it shall be enforced by the Director and the amounts owing under the order shall be paid to the Director, who shall pay them to the recipient. Where sufficient deductions are not being made by support deduction order, payment may be remitted to the Director, Family Responsibility Office;
                This statement seems to assume that FRO will garnish CS right from the start.

                I believe it is more normal that the payor just submits payment directly to FRO, and that FRO would only garnish if the payor stopped submitting (sufficient) payments to them.

                How about this instead:
                Unless this order is withdrawn from the Family Responsibility Office, the amounts owing under the order shall be paid to the Director, who shall pay them to the recipient. The order shall be enforced by the Director.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This statement seems to assume that FRO will garnish CS right from the start.

                  I believe it is more normal that the payor just submits payment directly to FRO, and that FRO would only garnish if the payor stopped submitting (sufficient) payments to them.

                  How about this instead:
                  Unless this order is withdrawn from the Family Responsibility Office, the amounts owing under the order shall be paid to the Director, who shall pay them to the recipient. The order shall be enforced by the Director.
                  I like your text better.

                  I guess my question is this - the minutes of settlement do NOT contain any of this wording. And now that I think about it, this draft order is for a final order, but it does not reference the SA that it is to be a supplement to. That in itself is bizarre... as it seems to suggest it is a stand alone document and it is not.

                  And there is already wording in the SA about the FRO to this affect (your text but that the FRO is not supposed to be involved unless dad is in default. Although he never has been, when dad filed his court paperwork two years ago his support order was registered with FRO and we continue to send payments each month to them), so I'm wondering why they are asking for any wording what so ever in this new order that is a supplement to the SA.

                  I guess we need wording to state that the SA will be changed but now this brings up new questions:

                  Do we specifically state which items in the SA are no longer valid and/or have been replaced by the new Order?

                  Oh gawd... this is turning out to be much more difficult than we expected. And we only have ten days to deal with this... Help!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Serene View Post
                    I like your text better.

                    I guess my question is this - the minutes of settlement do NOT contain any of this wording. And now that I think about it, this draft order is for a final order, but it does not reference the SA that it is to be a supplement to. That in itself is bizarre... as it seems to suggest it is a stand alone document and it is not.

                    And there is already wording in the SA about the FRO to this affect (your text but that the FRO is not supposed to be involved unless dad is in default. Although he never has been, when dad filed his court paperwork two years ago his support order was registered with FRO and we continue to send payments each month to them), so I'm wondering why they are asking for any wording what so ever in this new order that is a supplement to the SA.

                    I guess we need wording to state that the SA will be changed but now this brings up new questions:

                    Do we specifically state which items in the SA are no longer valid and/or have been replaced by the new Order?

                    Oh gawd... this is turning out to be much more difficult than we expected. And we only have ten days to deal with this... Help!
                    Don't sweat the wording re the FRO. Yes, the SA agreement can say one thing, but the payee can ask at any time, with or without something in the order, that the FRO take over collection, so its a moot point.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dinkyface View Post
                      I believe it is more normal that the payor just submits payment directly to FRO, and that FRO would only garnish if the payor stopped submitting (sufficient) payments to them.
                      As always dinkyface is correct. They only garnish if the payor doesn't cooperate with them and provide them the funds or the funds on time. Then they start the process. Just to warn everyone, this process in Southern Ontario is about a year... The payor can sit on their ass for a year until FRO gets any money flowing to you.

                      Most people who settle matters on consent are not generally encouraged to release FROM as it is (a) slow, (b) error prone and (c) very very slow in resolving issues. Did I mention that they are slow? And that the Ombudsman ranked them in the top 10 of most complained about organizations?

                      I would recommend seeking a release from FRO who is able to settle matters on consent.

                      Originally posted by dinkyface View Post
                      Unless this order is withdrawn from the Family Responsibility Office, the amounts owing under the order shall be paid to the Director, who shall pay them to the recipient. The order shall be enforced by the Director.
                      Again, excellent advice from dinkyface.

                      A word to the OP:

                      Not a single thing you have posted in your original message is anything worth getting your knickers in a knot about. In fact, as you stated yourself they are "standard" clauses. They are so standard that they are not necessary in the order as a well written order can be enforced by FRO without them even.

                      So, if these are the only two (2) examples of the problem with the order my recommendation would be to just agree to the draft and not engage in any more nonsense. It isn't worth the emotional effort.

                      Furthermore, I kindly ask that you clarify if the matter you are consistently discussing was an order made on consent between the two parties or the result of an order from a trial. It is confusing as these are TWO VERY DIFFERENT situations and the responses given are tailored to those two vastly different situations by most responders (such as myself).

                      Good Luck!
                      Tayken

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Not a single thing you have posted in your original message is anything worth getting your knickers in a knot about. In fact, as you stated yourself they are "standard" clauses. They are so standard that they are not necessary in the order as a well written order can be enforced by FRO without them even.
                        Agreed, Dad asked me to post this as it concerned him.

                        So, if these are the only two (2) examples of the problem with the order my recommendation would be to just agree to the draft and not engage in any more nonsense. It isn't worth the emotional effort.
                        No there are other concerns but those have to deal with loose wording with regards to access, etc. The wording needs to be tightened in the draft order and in fact, it was worded correctly in the minutes of settlement so not sure why there is a departure from the wording that dad and lawyer took so long to craft.

                        Furthermore, I kindly ask that you clarify if the matter you are consistently discussing was an order made on consent between the two parties or the result of an order from a trial.
                        Dad and mom showed up for trial - the day and time the court said trial would start, and they were told that they would be doing a pretrial and if pretrial wasn't successful the actual trial would commence the next day.

                        It is confusing as these are TWO VERY DIFFERENT situations and the responses given are tailored to those two vastly different situations by most responders (such as myself).
                        So the draft order was SUPPOSED to be crafted based on the minutes of settlement as the parties agreed to the wording on consent. The lawyer that we used in the background (dad is self rep) said that the draft order should be almost identical to the minutes of settlement. They are not. The wording is very weak on the draft order and as such it leaves many things ambiguous whereas the minutes of settlement were very tight. For instance:

                        The minutes of settlement state the following- Summer is to be split into four equal parts with the first and third part to dad in odd years, and second and fourth part in even years to mom. Summer is defined as commencing the last day of school in June and ending on the first day back at school in September.

                        But the draft order states - Summer is to be split into four parts with the first part to dad in odd years, and second part in even years to mom. Summer is defined as commencing the last day of school in June and ending on the first day back at school in September.

                        So we have to suggest how to fix this to the other lawyer (and to note there were two present for mom on that day and again, the minutes of settlement contain the correct wording).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Serene View Post
                          No there are other concerns but those have to deal with loose wording with regards to access, etc. The wording needs to be tightened in the draft order and in fact, it was worded correctly in the minutes of settlement so not sure why there is a departure from the wording that dad and lawyer took so long to craft.

                          .....

                          So we have to suggest how to fix this to the other lawyer (and to note there were two present for mom on that day and again, the minutes of settlement contain the correct wording).
                          If the minutes of settlement are exactly how you expected the order to be worded, then point out the deficiencies, paragraph by paragraph, to the other party.

                          Request that "Para. xx of the final order be changed to "worded this way instead" as per para. xx of the minutes of settlement. Do this for each item.

                          I went through the exact same scenario as you (minutes of settlement converted into final order), when my divorce was finalized. Had five page typed minutes of settlement, with carefully selected wording. With a little tweaking, the final order reflected the minutes of settlement almost perfectly.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From what I understand, the signed Minutes of Settlement are good on their own merit and are enforceable.

                            Sit back, let the ex's lawyers read over the draft and let them take care of the details.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No MS Mom, if we do nothing the draft order will become the final order. We have ten days to respond.

                              To the others:

                              We just noticed one other clause: Support Deduction Order to Issue.

                              This means:
                              • Support Deduction Order
                              • Support Deduction Order Information Form

                                These two forms are used together each time a court makes a support order. The support deduction order allows the Family Responsibility Office to collect support by sending notice to a support payor's employer or other income source, requiring support to be deducted from the payor's income.

                                If you are asking the court to make or change a support order, complete the appropriate sections of these forms prior to your court date, and provide them to the court clerk. The court will complete the rest of the information, based on what the judge orders.

                              We have always been paying FRO directly. We KNOW that FRO makes mistakes and would prefer to keep paying directly as opposed to garnishing dad's wages. We also know that FRO will continue to accept our payments made directly from dad to FRO for as long as we are not in arrears and on time, as they have been for the past few years. So my question is do we have to accept this particular wording? I see from other posts there is mention of FRO in every order that deals with support but this particular clause about support deduction order does not have to be included.


                              Again, we are not seeking the logic in having dad's pay garnished. He would prefer, for whatever reason to continue to pay FRO himself as he has been for all this time.

                              Comment

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