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Family Responsibility Office: Opting In/Out
In a family law case, the parties may opt out of enforcement by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) if each party consents to this and files a notice of withdrawal with the FRO. The notice must be signed by both parties. According to section 16 of the Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996, a recipient may subsequently choose to opt back into enforcement by the FRO.
A recipient may unilaterally opt out of enforcement by the FRO if the payor is in default.
A previous case held that arrears accumulated during the withdrawal period cannot be enforced after a recipient opts back in. However, this is no longer the case as this has been cured by an amendment to the legislation.