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Information sheets

  • Recipient of support (creditor)

    Getting started with the Maintenance Enforcement Program

    Welcome to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (PDF, 58 KB)
    This information sheet outlines the vision and values of the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) and how payments are received and disbursed. It also briefly outlines the expectations MEP has of the debtor and the creditor and what you can expect from MEP.

    Maintenance Enforcement Support Agreements (PDF, 173 KB)
    If you do not have a court order, MEP is also able to enforce Maintenance Enforcement Support Agreements in the same manner as a court order. This form is set out in the Maintenance Enforcement Regulation.

    Client confidentiality (PDF, 48 KB)
    The Maintenance Enforcement Act is committed to preserving the privacy of its clients. This information sheet outlines what client information MEP can release and collect, and how MEP protects its clients' privacy.

    Responsibilities of the debtor (PDF, 59 KB)
    It is the debtor’s responsibility to make payments on time according to the terms of the court order or support agreement. It is also the debtor’s responsibility to contact MEP to discuss any anticipated problems such as late payments. Changes of address, phone numbers or employment must be reported to MEP, as well as any changes in child status that the debtor believes may affect the child’s eligibility for support.

    Responsibilities of the Maintenance Enforcement Program (PDF, 54 KB)
    It is MEP’s responsibility to enforce maintenance obligations by collecting payments and forwarding them to the appropriate party.

    Contacting MEP

    Submitting a compliment or complaint (PDF, 273 KB)
    Client satisfaction is important to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). We try to make sure clients have the chance to tell us about good service and service concerns. Your feedback helps us improve our service and make changes that better meet your needs.

    MEP Accounts Online and the MEP Info Line (PDF, 54 KB)
    MEP offers clients two convenient ways of accessing their file information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The automated functions of the MEP Info Line provide telephone access to information, while MEP Accounts Online allows clients world-wide Internet access to their files.

    Collection actions

    List of collection actions (PDF, 37 KB)
    When payments are not made in full and on time the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) starts collection action. MEP has a variety of collection tools available. This information sheet briefly outlines the collection tools available to MEP.

    Collection guidelines (PDF, 25 KB)
    MEP has developed standard collection guidelines to ensure that all clients are treated in a fair and impartial manner. These standards establish timelines for the placement of collection action once a file is in default.

    Alberta's Carbon Levy Rebates (PDF, 44 KB)
    On January 1, 2017, Alberta's carbon levy came into effect. Rebates will be provided to lower and middle-income Albertans to offset costs associated with the carbon levy through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA will redirect to the MEP any rebate payable to a MEP debtor when there is a Federal Support Deduction Notice in place on the file; this money will be applied to reduce amounts owing on the MEP file.

    File accounting and adjustment issues

    Varying or changing your court order (PDF, 179 KB)
    It is not possible for the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) to change the amount of support due and payable each month. If either the creditor or debtor wishes to change the amount of support paid, a variation to the court order is needed. This information sheet outlines the process for doing this.

    Penalties (PDF, 49 KB)
    The Maintenance Enforcement Act and Maintenance Enforcement Regulation allow MEP to charge penalties to debtors and creditors. Penalties encourage the timely payment of maintenance and the efficient use of MEP services by all clients. Clients who do not meet their obligations or do not follow MEP’s procedures will be charged a penalty. This information sheet outlines the different penalties and how best to avoid them.

    Income Support and the Government’s right to receive maintenance payments (PDF, 32 KB)
    Income Support refers to the temporary financial benefits the government provides for Albertans who need them. Income Support is also known as social assistance or welfare and was previously called Supports for Independence or SFI. If a person is receiving Income Support, the government has all the rights to the maintenance of that person (the creditor) and/or the person's dependent children.

    Interest charges (PDF, 51 KB)
    MEP uses interest charges to encourage timely payment of maintenance. All overdue principal balances will be charged interest. To avoid paying interest, debtors should make all payments in full and on time as required by the court order, agreement or payment arrangement.

    Service fees (PDF, 49 KB)
    MEP’s standard services are currently available at no charge. However, the Maintenance Enforcement Act and Maintenance Enforcement Regulation allow MEP to charge fees for certain services. MEP uses service fees to improve service for all clients and to reinforce the need to comply with court orders and MEP procedures. This information sheet outlines the different service fees that may be charged.

    Child Status Reviews (PDF, 67 KB)
    Changes in a child’s circumstances may affect whether support is payable for them under the terms of the existing court order. This Information Sheet provides general information about how MEP reviews child status, including when a child’s status changes before they reach the age of majority.

    Maintenance for Adult Children (PDF, 209 KB)
    The responsibility to pay child support may not end when a child becomes an adult. Maintenance may be payable for a child even after they become an adult, depending on their circumstances and on the wording of the court order for their support. The purpose of this information sheet is to explain MEP’s policy on enforcing support after a child becomes an adult.

    Referrals and assistance

    Access enforcement (PDF, 273 KB)
    In Alberta, child access (or parenting time) and maintenance are separate matters. If a debtor is not receiving access to children, MEP still requires child support to be paid. This information sheet outlines the different resources a debtor may consult regarding access to children.

    Employment resources (PDF, 37 KB)
    There are many resources available through the provincial and federal governments to help Albertans in attaining employment and accessing career-related services. These include job listings, employment programs, apprenticeship programs, skills training, learning opportunities and career counseling.

    List of advocacy and support groups (PDF, 232 KB)
    These references are provided to assist MEP clients who are seeking additional information or assistance related to child access, support and other family issues.

    Referrals to parenting information and support resources (PDF, 241 KB)
    Separation or divorce can be hard on both parents and children. This information sheet lists programs that can help. These services offer counseling and advice on parenting and communicating after separation, provide emotional support for parents and children, or teach parents how to solve parenting disagreements.

    Referrals to resources (PDF, 265 KB)
    There are resources to assist you in legal matters related to maintenance, custody, access and parenting time. Some of these services are free and others have costs. MEP cannot offer legal advice or arrange legal representation for its clients, nor can MEP change orders or agreements.

    Resolution and Court Administration Services
    Resolution and Court Administration Services provides a range of resolution and court supports for people involved in legal disputes, including family law matters.

  • Payor of support (debtor)

    Getting started with the Maintenance Enforcement Program

    Welcome to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (PDF, 58 KB)
    This information sheet outlines the vision and values of the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) and how payments are received and disbursed. It also briefly outlines the expectations MEP has of the debtor and the creditor and what you can expect from MEP.

    Maintenance Enforcement Support Agreements (PDF, 173 KB)
    If you do not have a court order, MEP is also able to enforce Maintenance Enforcement Support Agreements in the same manner as a court order. This form is set out in the Maintenance Enforcement Regulation.

    Client confidentiality (PDF, 34 KB)
    The Maintenance Enforcement Act is committed to preserving the privacy of its clients. This information sheet outlines what client information MEP can release and collect, and how MEP protects its clients' privacy.

    Responsibilities of the debtor (PDF, 30 KB)
    It is the debtor’s responsibility to make payments on time according to the terms of the court order or support agreement. It is also the debtor’s responsibility to contact MEP to discuss any anticipated problems such as late payments. Changes of address, phone numbers or employment must be reported to MEP, as well as any changes in child status that the debtor believes may affect the child’s eligibility for support.

    Responsibilities of the Maintenance Enforcement Program (PDF, 54 KB)
    It is MEP’s responsibility to enforce maintenance obligations by collecting payments and forwarding them to the appropriate party.

    Contacting MEP

    Submitting a compliment or complaint (PDF, 273 KB)
    Client satisfaction is important to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). We try to make sure clients have the chance to tell us about good service and service concerns. Your feedback helps us improve our service and make changes that better meet your needs.

    MEP Accounts Online and the MEP Info Line (PDF, 54 KB)
    MEP offers clients two convenient ways of accessing their file information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The automated functions of the MEP Info Line provide telephone access to information, while MEP Accounts Online allows clients world-wide Internet access to their files.

    Making payments

    Making payments (PDF, 47 KB)
    To avoid collection action, late penalties and interest, it is important that debtors select a payment method that ensures payments are received by the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) on or before the court-ordered due date. This information sheet details the best ways to ensure that your payments are made in full and on time.

    Making payments from outside Canada (PDF, 52 KB)
    It is important that debtors select a payment method that ensures payments are made in a timely manner. By making sure their payments are received by MEP on or before the court-ordered due date, debtors avoid collection action, late penalties and interest. This information sheet details the best way to ensure that your payment from outside Canada is received in full and on time.

    Payment arrangements (PDF, 67 KB)
    Penalties and enforcement actions can be avoided when a payment arrangement is made with MEP to pay the arrears over time. Debtors need to contact MEP to make a payment arrangement. This information sheet explains payment arrangements and covers special topics such as: when a payment arrangement ends, the collection actions that may be placed during a payment arrangement, and situations when MEP will consider a payment arrangement for less than the amount required in a court order.

    Paying through automatic withdrawals (PDF, 45 KB)
    You may choose to make your payments to MEP through automatic withdrawal from your account at any Canadian financial institution. This information sheet outlines how to take advantage of this option.

    When debtors or creditors reside outside Alberta (PDF, 38 KB)
    This information sheet answers any questions you may have about registering your Alberta order or your foreign order with MEP. It will also detail information you need about orders that are registered with MEP when you or the creditor lives outside of the province.

    What to do if you cannot make your support payment (PDF, 283 KB)
    When a court order or agreement is registered with MEP, the payment history is monitored. When a file is in arrears, MEP is required to pursue collection. To avoid collection action, penalties and interest, a debtor can contact MEP to establish payment arrangements that address current obligations and any arrears.

    Collection actions

    List of collection actions (PDF, 37 KB)
    When payments are not made in full and on time the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) starts collection action. MEP has a variety of collection tools available. This information sheet briefly outlines the collection tools available to MEP.

    Collection guidelines (PDF, 25 KB)
    MEP has developed standard collection guidelines to ensure that all clients are treated in a fair and impartial manner. These standards establish timelines for the placement of collection action once a file is in default.

    Alberta's Carbon Levy Rebates (PDF, 44 KB)
    On January 1, 2017, Alberta's carbon levy came into effect. Rebates will be provided to lower and middle-income Albertans to offset costs associated with the carbon levy through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The CRA will redirect to the MEP any rebate payable to a MEP debtor when there is a Federal Support Deduction Notice in place on the file; this money will be applied to reduce amounts owing on the MEP file.

    Federal Support Deduction Notices (PDF, 33 KB)
    A federal support deduction notice (FSDN) is one of the collection tools that may be used by MEP when a debtor is in arrears. A FSDN is used to attach funds that may become payable to the debtor from federal sources.

    Federal Licence Denials (PDF, 34 KB)
    A federal licence denial is one of the collection tools MEP may use when a debtor is in arrears. This tool provides for the denial of certain federally issued licences, including passports and aviation and marine licences.

    Motor vehicle licence restrictions and driver’s licence suspension (PDF, 29 KB)
    Motor vehicle restrictions and driver’s licence suspensions are tools used by MEP to encourage debtors to pay their court-ordered support. These actions may be taken when the debtor has arrears and has not made an arrangement with MEP to pay them.

    Non-Wage Support Deduction Notices (PDF, 37 KB)
    A Support Deduction Notice (SDN) is a legal document that attaches funds payable to a debtor from a variety of sources. When a SDN “attaches” funds, this means that funds are captured and paid to MEP to satisfy maintenance obligations, instead of being paid to the debtor.

    Registrations (Writs) at the Personal Property Registry (PDF, 33 KB)
    The registration of a maintenance order at the Personal Property Registry (PPR) is one of the collection tools that may be used by MEP when a debtor is in arrears. Because MEP's registrations act like a writ of enforcement filed against the name of the debtor, they are commonly referred to as writs.

    Requests for payment from the Department of National Defence (PDF, 27 KB)
    For a debtor who is a member of the Canadian Forces, MEP may send an application to the Department of National Defence requesting that part of the debtor's monthly salary or pension be diverted to satisfy maintenance obligations. This application for a pay or pension diversion is similar to issuing a Support Deduction Notice (also known as garnishee) although different procedures must be followed. Federal legislation restricts the amounts that may be collected.

    Stay of Enforcement (PDF, 184 KB)
    A Stay of Enforcement is a court order which temporarily affects MEP’s ability to enforce a maintenance order.  This information sheet provides information about obtaining a stay of enforcement court order and how a stay of enforcement may affect MEP’s collection actions.

    Wage Support Deduction Notices (PDF, 33 KB)
    A Support Deduction Notice (SDN) is a legal document MEP issues that requires payment of funds. SDNs used to be known as "wage garnishees" or "notices of continuing attachment." When a SDN is sent to a debtor's employer, the employer is required to pay MEP a portion of the debtor's gross wages.

    File accounting and adjustment issues

    Varying or changing your court order (PDF, 179 KB)
    It is not possible for the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) to change the amount of support due and payable each month. If either the creditor or debtor wishes to change the amount of support paid, a variation to the court order is needed. This information sheet outlines the process for doing this.

    Penalties (PDF, 49 KB)
    The Maintenance Enforcement Act and Maintenance Enforcement Regulation allow MEP to charge penalties to debtors and creditors. Penalties encourage the timely payment of maintenance and the efficient use of MEP services by all clients. Clients who do not meet their obligations or do not follow MEP’s procedures will be charged a penalty. This information sheet outlines the different penalties and how best to avoid them.

    Income Support and the Government’s right to receive maintenance payments (PDF, 32 KB)
    Income Support refers to the temporary financial benefits the government provides for Albertans who need them. Income Support is also known as social assistance or welfare and was previously called Supports for Independence or SFI. If a person is receiving Income Support, the government has all the rights to the maintenance of that person (the creditor) and/or the person's dependent children.

    Interest charges (PDF, 51 KB)
    MEP uses interest charges to encourage timely payment of maintenance. All overdue principal balances will be charged interest. To avoid paying interest, debtors should make all payments in full and on time as required by the court order, agreement or payment arrangement.

    Service fees (PDF, 49 KB)
    MEP’s standard services are currently available at no charge. However, the Maintenance Enforcement Act and Maintenance Enforcement Regulation allow MEP to charge fees for certain services. MEP uses service fees to improve service for all clients and to reinforce the need to comply with court orders and MEP procedures. This information sheet outlines the different service fees that may be charged.

    Child Status Reviews (PDF, 67 KB)
    Changes in a child’s circumstances may affect whether support is payable for them under the terms of the existing court order. This Information Sheet provides general information about how MEP reviews child status, including when a child’s status changes before they reach the age of majority.

    Maintenance for Adult Children (PDF, 209 KB)
    The responsibility to pay child support may not end when a child becomes an adult. Maintenance may be payable for a child even after they become an adult, depending on their circumstances and on the wording of the court order for their support. The purpose of this information sheet is to explain MEP’s policy on enforcing support after a child becomes an adult.

    Variable support orders (PDF, 33 KB)
    Variable support orders allow for changes in the payment of support depending on changing circumstances. The court order specifies which particular situations change the amount of support payable or the way support is payable.

    Arrears and other charges (PDF, 179 KB)
    If a maintenance payment is not made when due under a court order or agreement, that amount of unpaid maintenance is referred to as arrears. Under the Maintenance Enforcement Act, arrears may be enforced whether they accumulated before or after a client registers with MEP.

    Financial disclosure

    Statement of finances (PDF, 33 KB)
    If the debtor has defaulted in payments required by a court order or agreement registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), the Director may require a debtor to complete a Statement of Finances. The purpose of this Statement of Finances is to determine the debtor’s financial situation so that satisfactory payment arrangements to clear the arrears can be made. The statement provides a sworn summary of the debtor’s income, expenses, assets and employment.

    Default hearings (PDF, 29 KB)
    A default hearing is a court process held before a master of the Court of Queen’s Bench. A master takes the place of a judge and is able to issue court orders. This information sheet outlines the instances in which MEP may issue a summons for a debtor to appear in court for a Default Hearing.

    Financial examinations (PDF, 30 KB)
    When a debtor has been sent a Statement of Finances and this Statement of Finances has not been returned or does not contain enough information, MEP may schedule a financial examination. Through the examination process, MEP attempts to come to an agreement with the debtor regarding an appropriate payment arrangement.

    Referrals and assistance

    Access enforcement (PDF, 273 KB)
    In Alberta, child access (or parenting time) and maintenance are separate matters. If a debtor is not receiving access to children, MEP still requires child support to be paid. This information sheet outlines the different resources a debtor may consult regarding access to children.

    Employment resources (PDF, 37 KB)
    There are many resources available through the provincial and federal governments to help Albertans in attaining employment and accessing career-related services. These include job listings, employment programs, apprenticeship programs, skills training, learning opportunities and career counseling.

    List of advocacy and support groups (PDF, 232 KB)
    These references are provided to assist MEP clients who are seeking additional information or assistance related to child access, support and other family issues.

    Referrals to parenting information and support resources (PDF, 241 KB)
    Separation or divorce can be hard on both parents and children. This information sheet lists programs that can help. These services offer counseling and advice on parenting and communicating after separation, provide emotional support for parents and children, or teach parents how to solve parenting disagreements.

    Referrals to resources (PDF, 265 KB)
    There are resources to assist you in legal matters related to maintenance, custody, access and parenting time. Some of these services are free and others have costs. MEP cannot offer legal advice or arrange legal representation for its clients, nor can MEP change orders or agreements.

    Resolution and Court Administration Services
    Resolution and Court Administration Services provides a range of resolution and court supports for people involved in legal disputes, including family law matters.

  • Employer of payor (debtor)

    Information for Employers about Support Deduction Notices (PDF, 52 KB)
    Employers are required by law to cooperate with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) to collect maintenance payments through a Support Deduction Notice (SDN) . This information sheet gives you, as an employer, all of the information you need to know about SDNs.

    Information for Employers about Driver's Licence Suspensions (PDF, 50 KB)
    This information sheet outlines what you, the employer can do to help if your employee needs their driver's licence for their job and the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) has suspended your employee's licence, or warned them that their licence will be suspended.

    Preferred Payment Options for Employers (PDF, 184 KB)
    Sending payments to the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) is easy. This information sheet outlines the various ways you can submit maintenance payments for your employee.

  • Payor or recipient of support lives outside Alberta

    When debtors or creditors reside outside Alberta (PDF, 38 KB)
    This information sheet answers any questions you may have about registering your Alberta order or your foreign order with MEP. It will also detail information you need about orders that are registered with MEP when you or your former partner or spouse lives outside of the province.

    Making payments from outside Canada (PDF, 52 KB)
    It is important that a debtor selects a payment method that ensures payments are made in a timely manner. By making sure their payments are received by MEP on or before the court-ordered due date, debtors avoid collection action, late penalties and interest. This information sheet details the best way to ensure that your payment from outside Canada is received in full and on time.

Contact

To connect with the Maintenance Enforcement Program.