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Responding when your ex applies for an ISO

When you are involved in a relationship, you willingly entangle your life with someone else's. The longer you are together, the more complicated your bond becomes. In addition to emotional attachments, you may have shared assets, pets or even children. One of you may have made generous sacrifices for the other's wellbeing, such as giving up a career or paying the partner's educational debts.

A relationship that ends rarely does so without complex issues to resolve. Your former partner may feel you owe him or her financial support or may expect to obtain support for a child that resulted from your relationship. However, if your former partner lives outside of Alberta, you may be unsure how to respond to a request for support.

Interjurisdictional support orders

In general, family courts in Alberta have authority only over those who live in this province. If your former partner or spouse lives in another province or outside of Canada altogether, the government of that jurisdiction may not be able to compel you to comply with an order to pay support. In order to accomplish this, your former partner must apply for an interjurisdictional support order.

If you receive an ISO application, your best course of action is to respond quickly. The information you receive will include copies of documentation your former partner signed before a notary, including the following:

  • Proof of income, such as pay stubs
  • Notice of Assessment dating back three years
  • Tax returns dating back three years
  • Completed forms detailing the request for support and the amount he or she is seeking

The packet will also contain a date the court has assigned to hear your case. You would do well to begin preparing for this court date as soon as possible, first by seeking legal counsel and then by gathering your own documentation. This will include your financial statements and whether you agree or disagree with the request. You must them make copies of your documents, have them sworn and file them with the court. Your next step is to arrive for court on the assigned day.

Reach out for an advocate

You may feel the support request is out of line, but you must present evidence to prove it, such as a paternity test, financial records or other details. On the other hand, you may agree to paying support but reject the amount your ex requests. Even if you agree to paying what your former partner requests, you would be wise to seek legal counsel to ensure the protection of your rights.

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