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FRO- do I have to?

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  • FRO- do I have to?

    My ex filed our separation agreement with the FRO even though our agreement was signed and filed 3.5 years ago stating that I would pay her directly. I have been paying SS and CS on time every month. The FRO has sent correspondence and I now have to pay directly to them. Ourís is a high conflict relationship and she has done this to spite me.
    At the end of the day I will be paying the same amount I suppose, but I prefer to not have the FRO involved, and to not have my employer involved in making these deductions.
    Do I have any recourse with seemingly all-powerful FRO? Or do I just suck it up?

  • #2
    I've got an even better suggestion. You're paying her directly right now, correct?

    By all means, suck it up, this doesn't really hurt you. But...cease direct payments to her immediately, and wait a month before paying FRO.

    Then, let them drag their administrative heals and take a few months to ensure that the money you give to them, actually ends up getting to her.

    Let her get exactly what she wants. Since you're a stand-up pay on time kind of guy, this doesn't hurt you at all. But, she's going to now have to wait for her money to show up, when she didn't have to before.

    She'll get mad and gnash her teeth and demand that you pay her directly until FRO starts getting the money to her, but all you will be able to do is tell her that you're now following the process that she demanded.

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    • #3
      My partner just went through this in June. It actually worked out in his favour though. Call the number for your caseworker and set it up to pay voluntarily. Cancel all cheques you have written IMMEDIATELY. Then work with FRO. Shes screwed herself now. Any increases she'll have to initiate (you could if you were a nice guy but why help her?) and section 7 she can submit to them.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Straittohell View Post
        Then, let them drag their administrative heals and take a few months to ensure that the money you give to them, actually ends up getting to her.
        As appealing as this may be, I still prefer to avoid the FRO. Can I fight the FRO on this, or is it a lost cause?

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        • #5
          FRO can only act upon strict interpretation of your SA. If you have a specified amount they will collect that. They do not do any math at all. You can only use FRO for section 7 expenses that are clearly defined. If you SA states a specific $ or % amount they can collect otherwise they cannot collect any expenses.

          Your employer will not necessarily be involved unless you are persistently in arrears and FRO has followed their procedures. First they would need to report you to the credit bureau and then if you were persisitent arrears there needs to be a court order to garnish funds from your wage source. I think you are a long way from that scenario.

          You pay through direct debit the amount due the day before its due and FRO deposit into your ex account. Its simple, traceable and arms length. I would not loose any sleep over it. It usually takes a few months to set up.

          Its a cheap shot at its best and you will do well to shrug it off as a no big deal and maybe even a big help. And NO you cannot fight it. It is her right to register with FRO.

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          • #6
            I am on the other side. Ex pays SS and CS faithfully every month. When I got our SA, I considered going with FRO because I thought it was simple and would avoid contact with ex. Just a little research made me change my mind quickly.

            FRO will hold back her payment for a month while they get your/her case sorted out. A payer can pay at any time during the month. Any issues and changes seem to take a bit to get sorted out. I don't see any benefit for someone who receives support from a responsible payer.

            Your employer will not be involved if you pay each month.

            You cannot disagree with FRO if she has filed. You must work with them now.

            However, if you and your ex each sign an agreement with FRO, your case can be withdrawn at a later date.
            Last edited by SadAndTired; 11-18-2014, 10:23 PM.

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            • #7
              Sorry, meant to add, that if she has already filed with FRO you should stop paying her directly, immediately. Save the payments to give to FRO. You will be in arrears very quickly and want to be able to pay them the outstanding amount.

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              • #8
                And if shes cashed cheques and claims you didnt pay, get that from the bank to prove it.

                Honestly, my partner was upset at first but now likes it. His ex did it out of spite but it backfired on her. The only hassle hes had is with s7 as she submitted an expense miscalculated. Hes waiting for the university costs next which FRO cant recover as theres no amount in the order.

                Pay it voluntarily to FRO. The benefit is you knows its done, she cant hoard cheques, and you dont have to deal with CS bs from her. Her decision to do so may end up hurting her but now its just like a bill payment. You pay on time, its still the same amount, its all good for you. She has to wait while they process, thats why we said stop any payments to her.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                  And if shes cashed cheques and claims you didnt pay, get that from the bank to prove it.
                  Not a problem; I paid by bank transfer each month.

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                  • #10
                    My ex threaten (always with the threats) to use FRO.

                    Thought and stated that it would be embarrassing to me.

                    I shrugged and told her that I couldn't care less who I paid.

                    Suggested that if anyone one should be embarrassed, it should be the person sponging off someone else instead of taking care of herself....said for effect.

                    Last time that I heard that threat. : )

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                    • #11
                      The FRO caseworkers arent evil minions either. My partners caseworker is pretty good at giving him info when he calls and calling him back if necessary. Shes told him repeatedly hes a good payor and she has no worries about him. The system itself sucks of course but as long as you meet your requirements youre ok. The ex doesnt email or call at all anymore about money. Sadly she figures if she just submits receipts theyll magically be paid what she wants. Thats the part that cracks me up. Shes miscalculated two expenses now. She could have been paid back in June voluntarily but now shes going to be waiting months for the proper amount according to the agreement because FRO is rejecting the costs due to them not adhering to the agreement.

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                      • #12
                        In the end, if one of the parties insists on FRO, then you have to deal with them.

                        My separation agreement had a clause drafted by my ex, that we would NOT use FRO unless I became 30 days behind in a payment. Within 2 weeks of having a signed agreement, she registered it with the FRO and I learned it doesn't matter what you've signed.

                        They send the nasty letter but they won't garnish your wages unless they have to. My FRO worker has actually been very helpful, but clearly stressed and overworked. My calls get returned withint 48 hours. When my son moved out of his mothers and in with me, FRO guided me on the form to send in, and then when my ex refused to respond to the request to drop his support, did an admin procedure and lowered my support. When my ex got remarried, she sent a letter and they responded within 2 weeks, telling me I no longer needed to pay spousal.

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                        • #13
                          My partner had that clause too. Funny, ex cashed all the cheques for support but filed with FRO because she felt he was in default. We're pretty sure she thought they would force him to pay the amount she thought he was supposed to pay, not the amount outlined in the fed cs guidelines.

                          Initially my partner felt that he would be seen as a deadbeat because hes with FRO but really, its just a middle man to avoid drama. Sure its a shock to see a letter show up or a demand for money that isnt right but if you work with them on it, youll find it much more stress free.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                            Initially my partner felt that he would be seen as a deadbeat because hes with FRO but really, its just a middle man to avoid drama. Sure its a shock to see a letter show up or a demand for money that isnt right but if you work with them on it, youll find it much more stress free.
                            thanks-very helpful. Must do my best to see this in a positive light and somehow use it to my advantage.

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                            • #15
                              Dont try to use it as a "ill get you" type of thing because then youre just feeding the drama dragon. Look at it as a way to avoid having to send her anything. She has more legwork. You get to just pay it like a normal bill. And if you stay in touch with your caseworker and are pleasant, theyll help you meet your obligations. Just stay on top of dates and ages so when your kid graduates or moves etc youve got a call in to FRO to help get it finished.

                              Comment

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