Child & Spousal Support

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a way to get child support without going to court?

    The Manitoba Child Support Service can make an initial child support calculation decision. This is done outside of court.  You would provide the Child Support Service with information on the parents, children, incomes, and custody arrangements. It can take between 45-90 days to receive a decision from the Service once you have applied. When you receive a child support calculation decision, it can also be registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Program so that they can enforce payments. You can get an Application for a Child Support Calculation Decision here:

    Child Support Service

    Room 201-373 Broadway,
    Winnipeg MB, R3C 4S4
    (204) 945-2293

  • Do I have to pay spousal support to my former spouse?

    You must pay spousal support if you and your spouse have an agreement that says you must pay or if the Court has ordered you to pay spousal support. When there is no agreement, whether spousal support is payable is based on your individual situation. The amount of spousal support is based on the facts including the income of the paying spouse and needs of the spouse receiving support.

  • Do I lose my right to apply for spousal support because I left my spouse?

    No.

  • How long do I have to live with my common-law partner before I can apply for spousal support?

    According to The Family Maintenance Act you must have lived together for three years or for one year and have a child together before you can apply for spousal support.

  • Is there a way to get into court quickly for a support order?

    Once you have started a proceeding by filing a Petition or Petition for Divorce you can apply for an interim order by filing a Notice of Motion and an Affidavit. An interim order is an order of the court intended to decide matters until a final order can be made at trial. Matters such as support often need quick attention by the court when the parties can’t reach an agreement. Interim orders are enforceable in the same way as a final order and they can be extremely important. They may establish a status quo (the way things are currently) that might be difficult to overturn in future court proceedings.

    Parenting arrangements, child and spousal support, occupancy of the home, preservation of property orders, and protection and prevention orders are the types of orders that are commonly granted on an interim motion. Generally, you must attend one case conference before your contested motion can be heard.

  • Can I request the court order have the other parent keep our child on their medical and dental insurance plan from their employment?

    Yes.

  • Will the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) still help me enforce my court order if my ex-partner moves to another province?

    Yes. The Maintenance Enforcement Program will work with the other Canadian province to enforce the child support order. Maintenance Enforcement will forward the court order to the other province to coordinate collection with them. The other province will forward any funds that they collect to the Manitoba Maintenance Enforcement Program and then you will receive those payments.

  • Can the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) garnish my whole paycheque when I am behind on my child support payments?

    Most garnishment orders require the creditor to leave you at least 70% of your wages. The garnishment must leave you with a minimum of $250 per month or $350 per month if you have dependants. However, if it is a child support order that is being garnished the creditor can leave you with as little as $250 per month.

  • I was registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) but I opted out when my ex-spouse was briefly out of a job. He is employed again. What can I do?

    You may opt in or out of the Maintenance Enforcement Program at any time. There may be a cost to opt back into the program.

  • Can I bring a family member to my family court motion for support?

    Courts are open to the public and you may bring a family member or friend to court with you. Some proceedings are closed to the public (such as case conferences) and you will not be able to bring anyone to such court appearances besides your lawyer. Ask your lawyer for more information on the specific appearance and whether you can bring someone on that date.

  • Are there guidelines for spousal support similar to the ones for child support?

    Yes. The Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines can be accessed at
    https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/fl-lf/spousal-epoux/spag/index.html. The Guidelines are just advisory, not mandatory—so the courts are not required to follow them when making an order for spousal support.