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ENFORCING CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS

Released on April 16, 2002

Legislation introduced today will help families obtain maintenance payments

from parents who try to avoid making payments.



"It is unacceptable some families are not receiving regular payments to

support the growth and development of their children" Justice Minister

Chris Axworthy said. "This change will ensure those families have greater

access to money owed them by parents who refuse to pay."



The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Amendment Act will help the

Maintenance Enforcement Office of Saskatchewan Justice collect from parents

who try to avoid paying child support by funnelling income through a

company they own.



If a person owns or controls a company and does not pay, the company can be

held responsible for the payment.



The legislation also allows the Maintenance Enforcement Office to serve

garnishments by fax, and simplifies the process for withholding drivers

licences from renewal.



To further assist families, Saskatchewan Justice has combined areas in the

department that deal with family issues and created a new Family Justice

Services Branch. The branch will serve as a central contact point for

families on services dealing with maintenance enforcement, court ordered

custody and access assessments, parent education and other family issues.



The 2002/03 budget for the new branch includes $256,000 in increased

funding for one new maintenance enforcement officer, pilot mandatory parent

education classes for Yorkton and Saskatoon, and other innovative programs.



As well, $131,000 in funding from the federal government will allow the

branch to set up a pilot project of an out-of-court alternative process to

change support orders to help low income parents who can agree on changes

to support payments.



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For more information, contact:



Debi McEwen

Saskatchewan Justice

Regina

Phone: (306) 787-6043

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