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Saskatchewan government introduces changes to help families receive child support payments

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said the government is creating new child support enforcement measures for those trying to avoid their financial obligations. File photo

The Saskatchewan government says it’s creating new enforcement measures for those trying to avoid child support payments.

The changes to legislation make it easier to enforce support payments that have been withheld in bad faith and to file for child support across jurisdictions within Canada and abroad, according to a press release on Tuesday.

“Support payments are of critical financial importance to many Saskatchewan families,” Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said in a statement.

“By creating tough new enforcement measures for those trying to avoid their financial obligations and by eliminating some of the legal requirements for inter-jurisdictional filing, we can help ensure Saskatchewan families receive the support to which they are entitled.”

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One act enables the use of enforcement procedures in cases when the payer is one month in arrears, has previously defaulted on payments and has been acting in bad faith by maliciously withholding child support. Government officials said this provision is the first of its kind in Canada.

Enforcement procedures and specifically targets repetitive malicious conduct and could include seizing pension entitlements, suspending driver’s licences and seizing wages for payments.

Another act aims to speed up the process of filing for and enforcing support payments when one of the parties no longer resides in Saskatchewan.

The amendments remove the requirement to certify copies of support orders from outside Saskatchewan before filing them in the province’s courts as well as certifying them before they are filed elsewhere.

Officials added these changes would apply to reciprocating jurisdictions which include the rest of Canada as well as Australia, Germany, China, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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