Maintenance Enforcement Program
The Maintenance Enforcement Program administers and enforces child and spousal support obligations under the terms of a court order or separation agreement. Once an order or separation agreement has been registered with the program, support payments must be sent to the program rather than directly to the person receiving the payments.
How do I register for this program?
You (as the payor or payee) must send or bring the following documents to the Maintenance Enforcement Program:
- A completed Maintenance Enforcement Program registration form (PDF) or (fillable .doc form). Registration forms are also available at the Family Law Centre or through your lawyer.
- A copy of your current support order or separation agreement.
If you are a payee, you must fill out an affidavit of arrears once the file is registered with the program. The affidavit is a sworn document that shows payments past due.
When you register as a payee, you will agree that all payments will be processed through the program and you will not try to collect the payments yourself, through a lawyer or another agency. If payments are not made regularly, the program will attempt to collect them on your behalf. Every effort is made to enforce orders and agreements, however, there is no guarantee of success in collections. Not all enforcement action is successful nor will it necessarily lead to the immediate receipt of money.
How are funds administered through the program?
The Maintenance Enforcement Program processes support payments, maintains an accounting record of the payments and forwards the payment to the payee. The program is neutral and does not represent either the payor or the payee.
What payment options are available?
- Internet banking
- Payroll deduction
- Money orders/bank draft
- Debit or cash payment
NOTE: The program does not accept personal cheques.
What happens if I (as the payor) do not make payments?
The Maintenance Enforcement Program will take enforcement action against you if payments are not made voluntarily, on time and in full. An example of enforcement is a “Payment Order” which is the garnishment of one’s wages, by their employer. The employer then forwards the funds to the Maintenance Enforcement Program.
Can I access this program online?
Registered clients can find case information such as payments and enforcement actions. All other visitors to the site can view:
- General information
- Glossary of terms
- Program publications, and
- Popular topics.
If you need help or further information, call (902) 894-0383 and have your Maintenance Enforcement Program file number ready. Documents can also be faxed to (902) 368-6934.
Can I access this program by phone?
The Maintenance Enforcement Program has a 24 hour toll-free telephone service. This line is available seven days a week to provide information about your support payments and enforcement actions on your file. The system is updated daily and will give you the most current information available.
NOTE: Have your program file number and PIN number ready when you call.
- Charlottetown clients: (902) 368-6010
- All other PEI clients outside Charlottetown: 1-866-226-8722 (toll-free)
- Clients who live outside PEI: 1-866-226-8722 (long distance charges apply)
Can I make payments in person?
Hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the summer and 8:30 am to 5:00 pm during the winter.
Can I withdraw from the program?
You can only withdraw or opt out of the program if you are the payee.
If you withdraw or opt out, you can opt back into the program by reapplying and completing a registration form and an affidavit stating any outstanding arrears owing. If there is a new court order or separation agreement since you withdrew, a copy of these documents will need to be sent to the program.
If you are thinking about withdrawing, consider the consequences. Since all enforcement action is removed when a file is withdrawn, action to collect payment must be replaced. If circumstances have changed since the enforcement action was removed, it is usually not possible to pick up the enforcement action where it was left off. For example, the payor may now have a different employer and require another wage attachment.
How do I get a court order for the Maintenance Enforcement Program?
You should seek help from a lawyer to get a court order or separation agreement for the program. The Child Support Guidelines Office (902-368-6220) can also assist if you are willing to represent yourself, and are seeking child support only.
The Maintenance Enforcement Program does not:
- Get court orders or separation agreements for clients,
- Adjust the amount of support ordered by a court,
- Provide legal advice to clients, or
- Deal with custody or access issues.
Is there a fee for this program?
The accounting services offered through the program are free to the payee and payor. The payor must pay a deterrent charge if payments are in default. If enforcement is necessary, service fees are charged to the payor to offset the costs of enforcement.
Who can I contact for more information?
Maintenance Enforcement Program
Family Law Centre (Charlottetown)
1 Harbourside Access Road