Children and families will have greater support following changes to the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) that come into force March 1, 2019.
The amendments, introduced in April 2018, benefit families needing support by allowing the FMEP to instruct ICBC to now cancel, as well as refuse to renew, the driver’s licence of someone with more than $3,000 in arrears for child or spousal support payments.
Previously, the FMEP could only direct ICBC to refuse to renew the driver’s licence of someone with arrears over $3,000, and the effectiveness varied as licences are only renewed every five years.
Changes will also help paying parents reach repayment arrangements sooner and will increase opportunities to create a manageable payment plan by preventing arrears from accumulating for up to five years.
Since its inception in 1988, FMEP has disbursed over $4 billion – at a current annual rate of over $210 million per year – to families and children in British Columbia, elsewhere in Canada and internationally to countries that have agreements with British Columbia.
Legislation introduced to strengthen family maintenance enforcement:
Family Maintenance Enforcement Program: