Child Support from Out of Province
If you want to apply for child or spousal support or to change (vary) an existing support order and the other party lives in a jurisdiction listed below, you can follow the process under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders (ISO) Act and the Divorce Act.
How do I start an ISO application?
If you live in PEI, the steps for obtaining an interjurisdictional support order are:
- You (the applicant) must complete all required ISO forms which are used to organize your information for the court. If you do not have a lawyer, a Child Support Guidelines Officer ((902)368-6220) can assist you to finalize your forms and providing them to the ISO Enforcement officer. All related forms and instructions are available at Interjurisdictional Support Orders Forms and Guides.
- The ISO Enforcement Officer will forward your sworn application package to the jurisdiction where the other party (the respondent) lives.
- A court hearing will take place in the respondent’s jurisdiction. You are not required to attend this hearing. Once a Court Order is issued, the ISO Officer in PEI will send you a copy of the Order.
How long will it take to process an ISO application?
This depends largely on which province/territory/country the other party lives in. From the time the application is completed until an order is made, the ISO process may take from six to 18 months.
What if someone in another jurisdiction brings a support application against me?
If you live in PEI and someone from another jurisdiction brings an interjurisdictional support application against you, the steps will be:
- The Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island will receive the support application package from the other party (the applicant) and schedule a court hearing in PEI.
- You, (the respondent), will be personally served with the following documents:
- The other party’s support application;
- A Notice to Appear that states the date and time of the court hearing (in PEI). Note: You are required by law to attend the court hearing. It is to your benefit to attend so that you can present your evidence and arguments to the court. If you do not attend the hearing, the court may grant a support order in your absence.
- The ISO forms you will need to complete and submit prior to the hearing date; and
- A list of information (e.g. about your financial situation) that you need to provide prior to the court hearing date. Note: If you do not have a lawyer and you need help to complete the ISO forms to respond to the child support application, you may contact a Child Support Guidelines Officer for assistance ((902)368-6220).
- A PEI judge will hear the matter in court and make an Order.
- A copy of the Order will be provided to you and to the other party.
Do I need a lawyer to start or respond to an interjurisdictional support application?
You are not required to hire a lawyer but you may choose to hire one. If the issue is child support (not spousal support), a Child Support Guidelines Officer can assist you to finalize your ISO forms and answer questions you may have about the process.
Does an interjurisdictional support application affect the enforcement of my current child support order?
If you have an existing child support order, it will remain in effect until and unless it is varied by a new order. All Canadian support orders are enforceable immediately upon the time they are filed with the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.
Where can I get ISO forms?
You can download the court forms you will need to make an ISO application at Interjurisdictional Support Orders Forms and Guides.
These forms are also available from a Child Support Guidelines Officer ((902) 368-6220) and at Community Legal Information Association.
Do I have to go through the interjurisdictional support process to apply for (or to vary) support if the other party lives in a different province/territory/country?
There are other ways that you can vary support if you live in PEI and the other party lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction listed at the bottom of this page. These options are:
- Consent Order (child support only) - If both of you agree to terms of child support and these terms comply with the Federal Child Support Guidelines, you can apply to the court for a Consent Order with the assistance of a Child Support Officer ((902) 368-6220). There would be no court hearing so neither of you would need to attend court. If the judge signs the Consent Order, it can be ‘registered’ in the other party’s jurisdiction.
- Agreement - If you and the other party agree, you can enter into a legal agreement. That, too, can be ‘registered’ in both jurisdictions and will be legal. It is recommended that you seek legal advice before entering into a support agreement.
- Mediation - Mediation can happen when both people are willing to work together with a mediator to try to come to an agreement. You may wish to contact a private mediator to assist you to come to an agreement.
Because interjurisdictional support applications will be decided in the court in the other party’s jurisdiction, this process can only be used where Prince Edward Island has made an agreement with that jurisdiction.
Prince Edward Island has reciprocal enforcement agreements with the following jurisdictions:
- All of Canada, except Quebec
- All of the United States (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands)
- Island of Guernsey
- Isle of Man
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
- Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory
- South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria
- Western Australia, Independent State of Papua New Guinea
- New Zealand (including the Cook Islands)
Who can I contact for more information?
You may contact a Child Support Guidelines Officer for more information:
Child Support Services Office
Family Law Centre
1 Harbourside Access Road, PE C1A 8C1
Telephone: (902) 368-6220