Legal bloodletting – Maintenance enforcement programs are ruining too many lives

By Candis McLean

The Report Newsmagazine

Rick Fowler remembers the “gut-wrenching” case that made him vow to commit every spare minute to helping people known contemptuously as “deadbeat parents.”

The case concerned “Edward Cooper” (not his real name), an Albertan formerly married to a doctor. She had employed him during their marriage and, since the wages were a write off, paid him extremely well for his labour. Yet upon their divorce, although he had lost that job and was now earning only $8 an hour, the judge inexplicably based Mr. Cooper’s support payments upon the wages he had been earning while in the employ of his ex-wife. Months later, in a presentation to the Alberta government’s Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), Mr. Cooper’s girlfriend revealed the man’s merciless, behind the scenes struggle while his ex-wife lived in a luxury home and drove the children to music lessons in her SUV.

“When I first met him in 1997,” the girlfriend explained, “he was living in a little room in Chinatown. At that time he had no car- really, he had nothing materially. Financially I wondered how he even survived. When he started as an apprentice cabinetmaker for $8 an hour, the only thing that I saw happen was that he worked very long, hard days and still had nothing to show for it. Legal bills grew as he tried to get a maintenance order to reflect his actual income.

Edward didn’t even get the opportunity to see his kids, yet not once did I hear him complain of having to pay child support.

“He lived on nothing. He never had food in his house. And yet, somehow, maintenance enforcement was able to garnishee wages on five occasions.

After the deductions, he took home less than he was paying for maintenance on an order that was out of date. He had obtained a new order for significantly less payments per month, yet somehow MEP enforced the old one that was based on a significantly higher income. I believe it was due to pressure placed on MEP staff by a relentless, demanding ex-wife, who used her position as a doctor to influence the action that was taken.

“Falling behind in his rent, Mr. Cooper was evicted and unable even to afford a bus pass.

“Then his parents gave him $200 to buy an old car; it took a lot of gas and it had no heat. For a little while, Edward had hopes that this vehicle would allow him to seek employment in the field for which he was trained, and thus get a chance to try to build a life. He literally was trying, so very hard, to pull himself up by the bootstraps. Then the car died, and once again things went down hill. “I remember one month that Edward was two days late making his maintenance payment. His ex-wife had him into court and she wanted him put in jail. Of course, even before that case was heard, the payment had been made. Edward fainted in the courtroom, the pressure was just so great. The judge commented, “What are you trying to do? Destroy this man?’ Obviously, that was [the exwife’s] objective. Unfortunately, MEP helped her in doing so.”

Finally Mr. Cooper was forced to live in his car, and eventually, in 1999, he died in his car, using the exhaust to end his life.

“Edward actually died of a broken heart,” his bereaved girlfriend maintained. “It was unjust, just plain wrong, what this system allowed. I blame [the exwife], but she only did what the system let her do. In the end, Edward was destroyed. His life literally hung in the balance, and when he needed Alberta justice to support his case, it failed him, setting him on a slippery slope on which, unfortunately, he never regained his footing.

“He gave everything financially, emotionally every way to get back a relationship with his children. That’s not a crime. All he was asking for was fairness. Justice. He never received it. The impact and sphere of influence of the family laws governing such circumstances cannot be measured. And there are many other children and dads that need to have relationships protected by the law, not allowed to die. God gave every child two parents for a very simple reason: every child needs influence and a relationship with both parents. Anything less is robbing our children of the emotional wholeness that they so definitely deserve.”

In the two years since listening, “heartbroken,” to this woman’s story, Mr. Fowler, a journeyman painter and a director of the Equitable Child Maintenance and Access Society in Edmonton (, has lived up to his vow, helping over 140 people through a myriad of problems associated with maintenance enforcement. As well as dealing with individual cases, his committee meets with MEP management every 60 days to discuss sorely needed changes to the system, which deals with “deadbeat parents.” These are the divorced parents who are denied primary custody of their children following a divorce, and who therefore must make payments toward their support, but for various reasons usually poverty are not able to do so. These are handled by collection programs run by provincial justice or social service departments; Mr. Fowler believes Alberta MEP is a leader, one of the few willing to work with non-custodial groups such as his, to improve services. According to MEP director Manuel da Costa, “We’re an in your face organization, but we also use counselling, mediation and dialoguing with groups like ECMAS.” Of all files with the collection program, 25% never have problems, 65% have occasional problems and 10% are actively pursued the true “deadbeats” who seek to escape by constantly moving and joining the underground economy, dealing strictly in cash and leaving no paper trail. MEP special investigators perform yeoman service in running many of them to the ground. The problem occurs, however, when maintenance enforcement services utilize similar collection techniques on the 90% of parents who want nothing more than to provide for their children and meet their payments.

One of Mr. Cooper’s distraught friends wrote to ECMAS: “We have enclosed a copy of a death announcement for Edward Cooper. Why are we doing this? To illustrate another death that may be attributed to the pressure Gestapo tactics of the Alberta maintenance enforcement …Yes, maintenance is also after me. My employer has threatened to fire me even though maintenance enforcement says they can’t. What a joke. They phone up the employer and reveal my whole life’s history, hence my employer thinks I am the worst father in the world. Perhaps I will do the same a rope and a stool just like the Shawshank Redemption movie.”

Copyright, 2002 The Report,

95 comments for “Legal bloodletting – Maintenance enforcement programs are ruining too many lives

  1. The Zodiac
    June 19, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Sounds familiar. My support is based on an income I made 5 years ago and the judge refuses to change it even though I was willingly disclosing my situation. They force you to go underground. They take 40% of your gross pay which is 50% of your net. When your net is $2,000 a month that leaves you with $1,000 cash in hand and you still haven’t made your ordered payment amount so naturally you end up in arrears, your bills don’t get paid, your credit rating goes to hell as does your future quality of life, ie forget ever retiring. I could go on, as I’m sure many of you can as well.

    • admin
      June 19, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Yes it is an all to familiar story. And one that has not improved for many years.

      We are trying to touch base with both Rick Fowler and the Writer, Candis McLean, to reveal other stories and possibly interview both. Stay tuned.

      • Sheldon
        June 14, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        I was living my life and one day I went to do my taxes, and they told me I owed 14, 000 dollars to fmep
        I was shocked I phoned Fmep and they had told me it was with some lady I new when I was a teenager that partyed alot and claimed her twelve year old son was mine. I never knew, My wife at the time had been destorying all the paperwork that came in the mail, and the lady that accused me a served the court docs to my wife at the time which she threw away and never said a peep to me. I never knew. Here I was in the.process of getting remarried buyingg my first house. I had full custody of my two kids from my previous marriage, as my future wife has the same. So 4 kids between us. Without Dna testing or proof im in the process of trying to afford a lawyer. My license has been taken away, my mortgage I was getting for our home turned down. My loan for are wedding canceled. No bank will touch me. My credit is ruined. Im trying to provide for my family on Employment insurance. Which fmep is garnishing. I have to pay all the bills rent support 4 kids and a spouse with 1200 a month. My rent is 1700 a month as u can imagine im about to loose everything. I still haven’t been proven the father, but I guess Canada policy ..Guilty until proven innocent.

        • August 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm

          Well now that my family is hold together by strings I phoned fmep to try and reason with them. I could not believe what I heard this lady from fmep told me. Without knowing anything about the fact that I’m trying to make enough money to fight my case and do DNA testing to find out if child is mine, the lady on the phone without skipping a beat after I try and tell her I’m trying to proved for my 2 children and 2 step children cuts me off and says “those kids don’t matter sir only your first one does” I couldn’t believe my ears I just hung up there was no point talking to her she just assumed I was a dead beat.

          • Mark
            April 18, 2016 at 9:01 am

            First off, FMEP cannot do anything without a legal court order or Separation Agreement (signed by you and registered in the courts).

            For this lady who claims to have your child would have had to go to court and get a judge to order maintenance and she would have to claim (with some proof) that your the father and she cannot find you in order to get a court order, in your absence, to force you to pay maintenance.

            Contact FMEP and request they send you copies of all orders pertaining to maintenance. They have to provide copies. They should have sent you copies when they first contacted you.

            Once you get these papers, you can used them to take your ex-girlfriend to court and do the process yourself without a lawyer. In the papers you prepare for court, you have to present all claims and all the things you will be requesting of the judge.

            This is where you can present the judge all documents that pertain to your current situation, which includes any documents that prove you have custody of all your kids from a previous marriage. This is where you will need to request the maintenance amount be lowered.

            Here is an important part, in the court documents you prepare, request the judge to order a DNA testing (paternity testing) of the child and request that all maintenance orders be placed in abeyance until there are results to prove you are or are not the father. Then request the matter be held over awaiting the paternity test results.

            Remember, you have to prove to the judge that your ex-girlfriend never contacted you to advise you of any pregnancy and especially if she had some knowledge of or some means to find where you were. This goes to show her lack of credibility in the matter and how it is important to get a paternity test.

            In court:

            If she refused to accept the test while in Court with you there, request that the maintenance order be squashed, don’t bother arguing to force her to do anything when she refuses a test like this. Here refusal is a clear example of her lack of credibility that you are the father and its unfair to hold you responsible for maintenance when she refuses to prove you are the father.

            If she refused to attend court, FMEP should have a lawyer there to represent her (don’t worry or be intimidated by this). Request the paternity test and abeyance of the maintenance order until you return in court to address the matter with the paternity test results.

            Request another court date far enough ahead to get the results and request the Judge to order that you get a copy of that report, just to ensure, if the lab requests a copy of the order, that they see that you get a copy of the report (covering the bases).

            If she is not in court, FMEP is not in court to represent her, then request the maintenance order be squashed. If you get the maintenance squashed, make sure you send FMEP a copy of the order stopping their enforcement.

          • Stephanie Keisarion
            March 5, 2017 at 6:21 am

            Same. I was literally told my 2 children don’t matter. Only my husband’s children with his ex do. He isn’t even on the birth certificate of 1 of them and it still matters more than my children. They have ruined us at every turn and they even told me point blank I should divorce my husband if I don’t like it. I can’t afford to fight them. We no longer know what to do.

          • Evan
            July 30, 2018 at 9:02 pm

            I tried to get 50/50 access for my child but the Judge ruled in my ex’s favor and gave her primary custody, and amazingly the Judge didn’t even care that I was already paying support for my Daughter from my first marriage. Now I’m paying $1200.00 a month in child support,
            I guess it’s time to… “live in a van down by the river”!

          • Mark
            July 31, 2018 at 9:10 am

            Evan, if I understand the law correctly, the judge is suppose to take into account any current child maintenance you pay for a previous marriage. If the judge failed to take into account, then the presentation in court for your side was poorly done.

            Suggest you get a lawyer (or different one if you used a lawyer) and dispute that.

        • Mark
          December 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          FMEP does not do RCMP bidding. FMEP is quite capable, with their anonymity to accountability, to harass people all on their own and yes FMEP is corrupt. Even RCMP officers are harassed by FMEP, and here it is harder on them because FMEP can use RCMP brass to put pressure on the member.

        • Lena
          October 19, 2018 at 1:13 am

          When you and your wife filed your taxes together, did her GST and income tax return get taken from fmep too?

          • Mark
            October 19, 2018 at 11:07 am

            When a person files his tax return and includes the spouses income on his return, that person is filing under his income tax account, not his spouses.

            When FMEP attaches an order for Federal interception, the order is attached to his income tax account, not his spouses.

            This is because there is no such thing as “joint Income tax accounts” like a joint bank account. So whatever the tax account calculates as a tax return, is seized.

            The thing that needs asking is can FMEP attach an order to the spouses income tax account as well, even if that spouse files a separate income tax report? – but having said that, she can check to see if FMEP attached an order to her income tax account. That information must be released to her when she asks.

            What is best is for the person to NOT tell FEMP who he is married to and not mention he is married. Since FMEP will do nothing for him no matter your circumstances.

      • Len
        August 31, 2018 at 2:03 pm

        I only got to see my daughter 2 times in 15 years…M.E keep suspending my lic…and even my ex says $300.00 is too much..she didn’t know what M.E was doing to me..$13,974.00 income tax refund and at the stroke ok a key…gone, 5 months later I got $4,000.00 I got a dream job offer..Company won’t hire me now because of “Administration Indefenant Suspention effective Sept 15 2018″..M.E won’t take restriction off..I can’t live off itchy band soup for the rest of my life..”We don’t care how you get the need to pay your support”

    • Aaron
      October 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

      It is amazing, there is a real human rights issue here. This system, that has been rammed in our face simply does not work. I am a father who deeply loves his children. I thought it would be wise to use the court system when my time with my son was not being respected by his mother. She would never been on time with him and then often when there was a family gathering planned and time with him was scheduled she would simply be un-reachable when I would be there to pick him up. After going through all the hoops of filing the order against her, the courts made the entire problem about child support and payments when we had already agreed on a amount to be paid monthly.

      Everything I was hoping to balance out was ignored and now I have been in battle after battle of amounts I can not afford to pay based off an income that is not current or present. The courts seem over eager to go for any idea of money that will go into the mothers hands but when she has lied about amounts and income and section sevens they figure the amounts of arrears that she should owe now be lessened or just skipped over to fast track court.

      MEP will go after your house , your job, your rights to travel or drive based off out of date information. They will send letters of threat that arrive a day after they have been written and give you out of date letters that need response by specific times with two days notice for response. MEP’s phone personal are extremely arrogant, un- professional and treating you as a dead beat before knowing any details of what got you there. This system is anything but Canadian. It is black and white then painted with red. There is no individual case, there is no grey areas. There is a one size fits all mentality.

      Relationships, children and family are never a one size fits all and never will be. There are many mothers and fathers out there that care and deeply love their children and the court system fails to recognize us.

      This system needs to take a much closer look at individual families. It needs to recognize expenses of both parties and base incomes off actual in home monies. Gross income means nothing when paying bills, hospital expenses, mortgages, out of country family expenses etc. It has never been money in hand yet the courts see fit to base child support in this manner.

      This system needs enormous changes. I understand why people lose their minds. commit suicide, commit murder and become mentally unfit and die of “broken hearts” when their instincts drive them to love their children and a system flat out says you pay no matter what. There is a bias against gender and there is an out dated platform deciding a child’s well being and destroying healthy families.

      I challenge any political figure to phone the MEP service line . Have an actual case in hand. Such as a debtor who has an outstanding amount of 120$ based off information given by “the mother saying that amounts had changed and MEP had been informed by her. Tell them you have emails telling you that MEP has been informed of the changes and that you have paid amounts according to the information provided by the mother. Now try to get some resolve on the 25$ late fees, try to get some resolve on the information given and try to ask why there is a writ against your house. A house with 2000$ mortgage that you had been paying 12 years before you ever met the mother of your child. Let me know how that goes for you and tell me how fair and polite it was handled. Then tell me that everything is fine with this system and I am completely off my rocker and change is the last thing that needs to happen. I will happily jump off a bridge with no water under it and have people throw rocks on me while I lay there broken.

      • admin
        October 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

        Please join us on Facebook and in our brand new forum. Consider attending a rally or organizing one on October 30. Thank you for the comment. You like others have hit the nail on the head.

        • admin
          December 22, 2017 at 11:43 am

          What evidence of this targeting do you have to back up your claims?

        • Mark
          December 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm

          It would prove a good thing on your part if you provide a link to that judgement where the court cancelled your arrears. You know where it is, please provide a link.

      • Caleb
        February 3, 2015 at 11:14 am

        I think Alberta MEP needs to be challenged in court for violating some fairly basic and fundamental rights.

        Why is it possible for an ex-partner to open a MEP account and make a claim that they are owed Child Support without providing any proof?

        This is exactly how I ended up in the MEP program. I wrote to MEP, accusing my ex of perjury and provided them with proof that I had paid. My proof was 1) cashed cheques 2) A receipt from my ex showing the specific amounts I paid her for Child Support. The proof I provided leaves no room for interpretation, it’s black & white but MEP won’t accept it & I have no idea why.

        So, it’s possible to be entered into the MEP program simply because your ex is pissed off at you.

        I negotiated a peace treaty with my ex and near the end of January, my ex submitted the form to close the MEP account. But rather than close the account as requested by the “creditor”, MEP has added a late payment penalty to my account and taken “enforcement” actions against me. I’m currently waiting to speak to a “collections officer” at MEP and my expected wait time is 20 minutes…

    • Laura
      October 8, 2016 at 6:57 am

      I have been watching my son go through this nightmare. He has no help…been trying hard to get ahead. Breaks my heart. He loves his children very much, but never gets access. They live in another province, and she is remarried, living good. Her new partner owns his own helicopter business in the oil fields. Owns two houses…list goes on. My son has been in the hospital twice, has severe bouts of depression. Tried paying off the back support that accumulated due to his inability to work, but only kept getting further behind. Can’t get legal aid, as he does not qualify, unless there is domestic violence. can not afford a lawyer. He even met with the lawyer for family maintenance. Was told off the record that it is unfortunate and he should get a lawyer. He can’t get to work (he does construction) because no car, no insurance, no workers comp.

      What is more, he does not have the money to fly his kids here, or go see them. Tell me how this system is fair. It is not. Change needs to happen. So many lives are destroyed. How about making it mandatory that the ex spouses have to declare income…including their new partners. She is a millionaire and he is homeless and broken. And for the record, she is the one who left, right into the arms of a richer man. So not fair.

    • Thomas West
      October 11, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Agreed. They have to much power over citizens. Judges dont care because penalties generate revenue for the government UNJUSTLY!!! REFORM IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY!

    • frank
      December 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      I was crucified by maintenance enforcement while having 4 kids, in shared custody.
      while my ex was remarried,collecting all the child tax benefits,as well as our agreed payment,untill I just couldn’t make her payments any longer.
      with 4 kids in my care, occasional trip to the food bank in winter months (I hope the kids never find out about that)maintenance went about dehumanizing me,i remember going to pay for grocerys ,and finding my bank account was my week with the kids,they had just arrived at my place,and I realy didn’t have any thing at home for was all I could do to keep from breaking down right there in the store,in front of my 5 year old son who happened to be with me at the time. fortunately I had a large bag of rolled oats and apples that we ate for the next few days.
      to this day I am still unable to look anyone in the eye while using my bank card,and get nauseous if it takes a moment to long.
      as time went on I amassed a huge amount of missed payments that I would never be able to pay while trying to support my own household,after a couple years of penalties, frozen accounts, threats ,licence passport,i ended up in the looney bin,with a serious desire to harm people like my ex, but most of all the good folks at family maintenance.
      I knew I could not act out like that without damaging the kids,suicide was the only thing left for a deadbeat piece of shit like me
      while in the mental ward my ex asked them to stop the persecution,so they said ok but also made sure that I will never prosper for 11 years,never have anthing to pass on to my kids ,never have a place they can call home,never have the dental care they need and deserve
      as the kids have grown a bit older,survival is getting a bit easyer,but the world has passed me by now, I will never be able to buy a house in the village iv lived in the past 25 years, nor will my kids, I cant even find a place to rent
      I accept that all my failures are my own doing,but I don’t forgive people that wrap themselves in the banner of family and then do everything in their power to make it hard for a single parent to provide a good home and life for his 4 kids .dispite all I have great kids, they deserve so much more than I have been able to provide
      I can relate to the story of Edward, and when I hear of serious domestic violance and suicide,I would bet 9 times out of 10 family maintenance is involved…
      yup I want blood

    • Al
      November 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      I am looking for individuals who have been victims of this disgusting agency called FMEP AKA THEMIS MAXIMUS.

      FMEP is not a government agency they are contracted by the bc government. Yet this agency is gaining access to personal information using government information to ruin lives. Furthermore they withhold payments thus allowing fmep to gain monetary interests.

      I am seeking individuals who are interested in a class action lawsuit against FMEP. Please contact me if you are interested, I know from the heart wrenching stories people have been ruined and they need to be stopped.

      There are many useless parents who use old court orders to intentionally ruin lives. Lawyers who act for fmep cross the line when they act for the petitioner instead of taking no position and assisting the parties to come to an agreement.

      • Mark
        November 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

        I suggest to create a web page that has a contact form on it and provide a link here. This way you can maintain privacy for email address and manage emails that are sent to you.

        There is No means to contact you from this comment form, your email address is not shown and it is not advisable to post it either. Instead take the suggestion above, create a website and give is a link here in this comment forum. Then we can contact you.

        • admin
          November 22, 2018 at 2:57 pm

          Contact form is on the site menu.

          Direct link

          • Mark
            November 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

            Are you speaking about using your Contact Form to connect with “Al” who made the request to receive contact?

            To ensure you know who I am speaking of, this Al, who posted on Nov 21, 2018, where I replied and he said,

            “I am seeking individuals who are interested in a class action lawsuit against FMEP. Please contact me…”

  2. Deadbeat dad
    June 19, 2013 at 2:49 am

    Never seems to matter what you try the courts are unwilling to make changes. I hate to say it but its very gender biased. God help you if you have a penis cuz you are pretty much screwed. I don’t see this changing either as lawyers can make too much money off this. Likewise enforcment programs must make huge profits. The entire family court system is big business. It’s like the oil companies finding alternate energy and drug companies curing disease. Sounds all nice and fluffy but are they really going to put themselves out of business??

    • admin
      June 19, 2013 at 2:53 am

      Well perhaps we should look into this claim of gender bias. I’ve heard this suggested many times.

      Perhaps a poll and some research are good places to start?

      And maybe we should research what kind of cash these cases bring both the programs and the courts.

    • steve
      August 20, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Does anybody watch the news in the United States, where some leaders are making comments about Sharia law. We might not see Sharia in our lifetime, but it would eventually turn things around because it is centred on the leadership role of fathers in Muslim society.

      • jennie
        February 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        Thank you NO, Steve. Sharia law does not support equal rights for all people and I do hope for that. From the little I have seen, it supports a world where men can use other people as their possessions and livestock. (But only Islamic men, all the other men don’t count). Fathers should take a leadership role, as mothers should, too; I just hope that not many fathers want to lead us into that sort of world.

    • jennie
      February 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I wish I could argue that it is gender biased, but I have a feeling it is true- to the degree that your gender determines how they screw you. I don’t know the facts, and I suppose they are carefully obscured by privacy rights. My guess is that all of us have nots are screwed by government agencies and if they have used the rallying call of “womens’ and childrens’ rights to go after men, it hasn’t really done much for these women and their children. If you are desperate enough to be on welfare, they just take your support payments off your cheque, so what good does it do?

      The solution might be for parents to remember that they are adults who might once have loved each other, and put aside their differences to act as a unified force to take the best care possible of their children. Just a crazy idea I have…

      • April 13, 2017 at 12:04 am

        If you receive welfare, FMEP cannot legally take support payments off that cheque. However, they can do so the moment you deposit your welfare cheque into your bank account.

    • shauna
      May 1, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      It’s not just men that get bent over and given it to dry. From the courts point of view there is a winner and a loser in every case. Once you become the loser there is no fixing it. It becomes what is known as common law. I know. I’ve been fighting it for 11 years and I am a woman.

  3. Tim Casey
    June 20, 2013 at 3:31 am

    When the mother is on welfare, she only gets what the monthly child allowance is. BUT… many men pay far higher child support amounts to the Alberta MEP for the children involved. I would like to know what happens to the “extra” money. The children DO NOT benefit from the higher payments… the government of Alberta does!

    • admin
      June 20, 2013 at 3:41 am

      Yes they do Tim.

      I’d like to know just how much. And what is it used for?

      Do you think it’s publiclly available?

      Wonder if MEP will disclose it or if we’d need a FOIP request.

      • Steve
        June 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

        What you actually need is a divorced pair of parents who still communicate, and are willing to compare financial statements from MEP. The amount that the father pays, is not the same as what the mother receives. It requires two sets of financial disclosures, and a good accountant to compare line by line. The Government does rely on the reality that most divorced parents do not communicate or share this financial information.

    • admin
      June 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      I’m sure running their program costs a lot of money, Tim. Somehow I’m guessing that may be their justification.

  4. Greg
    June 28, 2013 at 1:26 am

    The problem is the culture that the employees are taught. They have an 85% compliance rate. This is likely due to amicable divorces where neither party is in dire straights after the split, and/or fair, livable judgements in the settlement. The problem lies when one’s circumstances change, or high conflict divorces. There is no difference to them between a “Won’t pay” and a “Can’t pay”. The draconian measures used, usually snap a good percentage of the “Won’t pay” types into line, but ultimately cripple the “can’t pays”. Nobody seems to be able to get MEP’s balance sheet, so it is tough to say if they run in the red or black, but the system as it stands, is literally killing fathers. There was a report done years ago, that identified that single parent homes with no active father figures, turned out delinquents, and it goes downhill from there. There is a push to end homelessness in Edmonton, but a good percentage of the visible homeless are men, and the invisible homeless (guys living in a goddamn car) are never tallied.Women’s shelters are overloaded, yet Earl Silverman, who had the only men’s shelter in CANADA, was driven to suicide, after butting heads with the system for too many years.

  5. Greg
    July 9, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Just got off of the phone with my MLA’s office. I had went there to see if they could persuade MEP to remove the motor vehicle restriction on my licence, even if for only a month, so I could secure some employment, and they insist on having a letter from an employer promising a garnishee. Once again, they don’t understand how this affects one’s chances of employment. As this problem grows, less and less employers are willing to deal with these idiots. Here we go again. =(

    • admin
      July 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Yes sadly most employers are going to view it as a hassle and move on to the next person.

      What will you do next?

      • Steve
        July 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

        Remember, it was the MLA’s who voted for this collection strategy. They do have the ability to use their contacts, but it is very rare for the MLA’s to get involved in the program bully tactics. Unless perhaps you happen to be some well known person, but then you would have your own legal contacts. Alberta Government Civil Servants are not friendly to the average citizen. That’s why it is called a demo-crazy.

        The best suggestion I can make is to go work someplace for cash under the table, like restaurants and bars, or maybe a slaughterhouse or a farm helper. Ten dollars an hour cash is better than $20 per hour on a paycheque. All of us guys are going back to the cash economy. Cash is king, and the government can’t find it. Stay away from my pillow!

  6. Steve
    August 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Perhaps we could organize a class action lawsuit against Premier Alison Redford. She is the executive in charge of child support collections.

    • admin
      August 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      We definitely should look into it if nothing else as a protest.

    • Dave
      November 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Count me in if anyone has started this I am willing to help!!!

    • Geronimo
      June 15, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      I will sign it or even start it I don’t think fmep should be doing this kind of thing. If any one starts a class action please leave a link. My employer stopped putting me to work because they don’t want to deal with fmep. I been on SA for a long time and the courts will not see that I’m on SA and have a child with my wife now. I’m ticketed as a first aider but can’t work because fmep put a hold on my DL and I need my DL to do my job. I faxed a letter of employment to Fmep 15 times so I can get my DL back for work and nothing yet. I may lose the job because of this. And I didn’t even start yet. I was offered a job in South Africa and if I took it I would have been stuck there with no visa because fmep put a hold on my passport that was a very good paying job too.i had to send in my passport or the federal government would have seized all my stuff. All this well I’m still on welfare. The good thing is I get to see my daughter any time I want

      • Sarah Mayea
        July 4, 2016 at 10:32 am

        I am waiting for the day my ex takes me back to court for child support changes. This next go around coming the new court order will have his hand in all his Financials annually! Making it completely fair and relative from year to year as it should be. It doesn’t matter what the amount is as long as it’s reflective to sources of his income and all businesses. Child support is for the child and his/her quality of life. Ie. Type of clothing, extra curricula activities and the kind of home and living environment. This site is pathetic and demonstrates the how the paying parent wants to be a victim. Stop behaving like a victim and get on with it. Be a parent. Step to the plate. Do what’s best for the child even when all you see is yourself first(which is sad)

      • Sarah Mayea
        July 4, 2016 at 10:52 am

        Getting a child support court order that reviews income annually is what is needed and fair. It exactly what the government does to calculate child tax and GST credits. Did you see the article

        Bad behaved parents whether it be the women or man ends up hurting the child/children.

        Being a good Coparent is required by both parties. Judges don’t want to see immature people in their courtrooms. They want responsible Coparents figuring life out on their own. I learned this the hard way.
        I begged my ex to be a father as he promised to do. The guy has only held his child once and then pressed criminal harassment charges against me for bothering him too much to be a Dad with the lies his replacent wife told rcmp. The RCMP were alwas on my side as advised 3 years ago today. The father always told me he would be there for his child. He askes for this baby and i didnt realize he just wanted the baby and not me. He advised me over and over to contact him only if it had to do with his child of which i did. The father figured if i was criminally charged he would gain grounds to full custody and not have to pay child support. The guy never won in court with his intent of getting me criminally convicted as he had hoped. I was advised that I could never coparent with someone who has sociopathic behavior problems. So then what??? All I can say is nothing in life is fair and it is all up to you to decide how to fix your own life. I did.

        • admin
          July 4, 2016 at 10:54 am

          What kind of attorney were you?

          • August 2, 2017 at 1:25 am

            My dealings with child support and mep have been a complete and utter nightmare

        • admin
          July 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

          Sounds to me more like you’re the pathetic one and potentially a hypocrite too.

        • admin
          July 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

          I’m sure taking a multi your vacation on the road helped fix your life a great deal.

          • Sarah Mayea
            May 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm

            When people put their children’s well being and needs first, there would never be a problem. There would not be a need for MEP either. Responsible parents take care of the children willingly vs Maintenance Enforcement Program doing it for them.

            Your children have come into this world because of you and the other party you engaged with. Perhaps lousy decisions were made when deciding on who we wanted the other parent to be. If so, that is not the child’s problem as it is the adults problem. The child/children are one-half of each of you. What does it say about a parent who abandons the child/children to avoid paying what the child/children is legally entitled to? An active and present parent will always do what is best to ensure the child can be given the best quality of life.

          • admin
            May 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

            Where were your kids while you and your boyfriend quit your jobs to travel around? Did your child support fund your trip?

        • Ken
          July 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm

          Strange family court system has no problem with the mother being sociopathic, seems to encourage it actually
          All the best to your retirement and living off the ex’s

  7. Brad
    August 7, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Here is a good one my x was a manager with MEP and she showed me a file of a woman who had eight (8) kids to 8 different men and was collecting support from all of them. So now l am a client of MEP and I am being screwed everyway possible, no communication they forget to send letters, they forget to do Child Status Reports and do you think l can talk to someone who is willing to give me answers. They tell me l have to speak to a manager so phone calls don’t help now that is service. MEP is a one sided organization that does not treat any man with any kind of respect. I have written my MLA and no response, nobody cares they treat us all like deadbeat dads and MEP knows this therefore they do not have to be accountable to anybody. My 2 cents that is all l have left.

  8. JOHN
    October 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I’m owning over $400,000 to meps. and only made 60,000 a year for the pass 5 years. Lawyer has taken the last of my money and I’m no where ahead. been garnisheed 40% before tax for the last 2 half years. Don’t understand how they think suspending your drivers is benefical and can go on how so many things are wrong with meps. I’ve had the opportunity to live off the grit in a foreign land. Long story short I’m a proud Canadian cause of blue collar Canadians. I’m just embarrassed of our government. The system is totally incompetent, selfish, unsympathetic and blind to the reality of what happens in the real world. I’m not bitter or mad. I wish ex well. I’m at the end of my rope and don’t give a shit anymore. I’ll be a poor man for the rest of my life. Good job meps on destroying my self esteem. NO money, No life, No kids to watch grow up. No future. Born and raised in this country but yet the government lets immigrants in and benefit off of my misfortunes I just don’t understand.

  9. Dave
    November 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    A Fathers Story
    Right now, at this moment. I’m ambivalent, I’ve read deep depression can do that to a person.
    2 Years ago my wife and I separated, we have 4 children together, the oldest is adult 33 with my 4 grand kids, she was my wifes before we married. Besides my daughter we have 3 boys, 15, 17, and 19 years old.

    Ironically my daughter was the only one who stood by me. But I have managed to alienate her as she feels, I shouldn’t talk about this online, But I’ve decided she is wrong, and doesn’t have the right to stop me from expressing myself, and probably saving my life, by allowing me a release. What Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) has done, is ruined 6 peoples lives not to mention deprived grand children of their Grand father.

    The final straw in our marriage was indifference on my part.
    I had co-signed a mortgage for my sister so she could afford the payments. I didn’t tell my wife, and they mailed a copy to the house. Even after I asked them not to. (BY the way my sister never defaulted and sold the house months later a a huge profit)

    Anyway in a normal well adjusted relationship that would be bad very bad, I know this. Like I said, indifference. But in the poor relationship we had, it broke it apart for good.

    She had the courts evict me, and then had a lawyer to convince the courts it was over alcohol, luckily my judge doubted this story, but still only allowed me to see my children every second weekend, which I find out is a very normal decision in Alberta Courts. Even though her lawyer didn’t even care about the custody arrangements. My wife and I had agreed on equal terms, before this point.
    But it didn’t stop there.

    My company was nearly done even though it had done really well the year before. It was a down turn in the Oil Industry, something that happens ever 3 to 5 years, this is when most smaller oil companies sell off there assets and coast through the down turn. the larger companies usually buy these already producing reserves as it less risky then try to find new Oil. Well the reason I need to tell you this is that I only had small and midsized clients, five of them to be exact. Well they either downsized or out and out sold. The new owners never take the others, brokers with the deal and usually get rid of them right then and there.
    This is what happened to me, so the judge made alimony decisions on last years income tax, and in short, I know to late, but in short buried me with a huge Alimony payment that I wouldn’t be able to come up with until after the down turn was over and I had acquired new clients usually takes a year or year and a half.
    Needless to say I failed to maintain these payments and eventually lost my house, my drivers license, my passport and my livelihood. And now I am so broke I can’t even go back to the court to fight it.
    But the most tragic thing of all, happened just recently, I decided to move out of the province to a province I can drive in and try and get back on my feet. Well I’m not sure but I can guess, through a little thing know as. PAS or parental alienation syndrome, My wife has convinced my kids of either I’m bad or that I abandon them so therefore I don’t care or whatever you fill in the blanks.
    The Waves of depression that roll over me on a daily basis, are indescribable. Though I think I’m not the type, I have daily bouts with suicidal thoughts. They were my life, my whole life. I didn’t have any real friends, as I had them. I’m lost with out them.
    I can’t call them I have no number, I can’t email them they don’t respond or don’t use their accounts, I can’t Facebook them, they don’t respond, I can’t walk over as I am homeless and don’t live there anymore as I am Unauthorized to drive in alberta, and no one else to contact them through even my daughter won’t relay a message for me.
    I can’t even understand how they can go on with this as I thought they would have felt the same way as I. We didn’t do baseball or much like that together they weren’t those kind of kids. but I worked at home and was around them everyday all day. they were the gamer nerdy type like me.

    But I guess when you have a child’s mind for 27 days out of 31, like the court granted. It doesn’t take long for those feelings to be replaced. The worst is the more I read yesterday about PAS, the more depressed I got. They say the average case of mild PAS takes approximately 20 years to unwind. So I will probably be dead by then and they will probably be in there late 30’s.
     This would be a case for moving on, I guess. As the out come looks pretty bleak and remote.

    The hardest part is I can’t even say goodbye, it’s exactly like they all died, at once. and the pain is no less then that either.
    By the way it still can get worse for me, they have now take a second home, and can put a warrant out for me. I want to pay I want my kids but even after filing the paperwork they ask of me they wouldn’t give back my license. Last year I made exactly nothing and I’m not proud of it but took care of my mother in leu of rent.  I had to get a job first. How do you go to job interviews in a big city from a rural town with no money and no way to get there. not to mention no home address now, as I am homeless?

    She has convinced my daughter that it’s easy for a fifty year old man to get a job without a drivers license and ask his potential new employer to write a letter to MEP for a temporary license to work, at his new $130,000.00/yr job. because that is what the alimony was based on. But lets be reasonable, how about a Walmart greeter, you see lots of elderly people doing that. Which would be fine at minimal wage and after taxi fares to get to work and normal living deductions, She would get exactly nothing for support, and may even have to support me at that point if it went back to court.
    I asked her since the license was taken… even showed her jobs I lost because of it being taken, and still she won’t opt out of MEP.

    I think it is self evident that this is just revenge and has nothing to do with the kids or support. she needed to prove to her family that I was no good, because she was the one who fell out of love decades before, and verbally abused me and the kids for years. until I just got ambivalent. 

    And that people is how a 27 year marriage hits the rocks!

    I’m sorry for the lengthiness of this comment, but as I said I have no one left in my life. and this is like therapy for me.

    Thank you for your consideration, and reading this ramble.


    • Susan
      January 3, 2015 at 6:39 am

      I am so sorry to hear Dave. I am a mother/ex-wife and I chose to co-parent when I separated in 2000. I had been raised to take care of myself and that meant I had to earn my own living and take care of my kids. I am just learning about the family laws, mep and such as my nephew is going thru a messy child custody battle, with false allegations of assualt, and 4 mths ago my son became a dad. My graddaughter was born 2wks after her mother ended it with my son. Since then every second day has been filled with threats of this that and the other thing. So I started researching laws, practises etc in Alberta as they differ a bit from Ontario where I live. I didn’t realize there was sooooooooooooo much prejudice against men and children for that matter. I’ve rambled, I’m sorry. Just really wanted to let you know that you are not alone. There are many groups out there, that you can vent, find helpful info or help to seek change. I have joined many myself and I want to help anyone, not just my son and granddaughter..

  10. Dee
    December 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    It truly breaks my heart to read these posts of the women that have taken advantage of these fathers. Although I was a mom that was given sole custody of my children, I did not withhold them from their dad. However, he never took advantage of his access time and found his new found freedom more inviting than the lives of his kids which unfortunately he has had to pay the price for now. My children are both adults now and my ex never liked to pay his support and I constantly had issues. I was nice enough for many years ro accept payments well below guidelines as I found them high and unreasonable. However, I also never got a break. When my ex refused to take the kids and it was years…eight years of me becoming a full time caregiver and having to pay for sitters and never being able to take a vacation or have a life outside of the kids, I expected that he start paying more. I admit, things got nasty, again, he was always allowed to see his kids but he chose not to.
    My son went through a major tragedy and has gone through lots of rehab, my ex never visited him during this time. My daughter struggled in school because of the emotional stress and not having any support from her dad. She failed two classes and didnt graduate. During our last court hearing my ex asked for child support to end on her 18th birthday, he was denied. He wss ordered to pay $2800 in child support arrears.
    My daughter turned 18 but still went to post secondary without graduating. Because he lives
    In BC, I have yet to receive any arrears for the past year. This is based on 2011-2013 income amounts. I have submitted 5 Child Status Reviews for my daughter, BC claims they have nothing including the enrollment forms I submitted to MEP in September. I have received to child support or arrears so at this point owed over $5000. Both jurisdictions cant agree on amount of arrears even though its in a court order so I am waiting on an administrative decision. My ex went to court and got a provisional order to have child support end since she failed her high school classes when she was a minor even though she is enrolled in post secondary and passing all courses.
    I am nearly broke from paying tuition and my daughter is at risk of having to quit school.

    Just wanted to share a moms perspective that sometimes they dont always get everything. I have been fighting with MEP for a year for my daughter. I work full time and now have to get a second job just to help her through school.
    My next step is the ombudsmen.

    Good luck everyone.

  11. Heather
    December 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    My MEP experience for the past 15 years

    MEP certainly is flawed I believe for both sides.

    Some of our experiences (as I’ve read them all) are similar. Regarding myself, when I have phoned MEP to find out what is happening with my case regarding the (debtor)my X…….I can’t ever get anywhere and it’s been 15 years.

    Even after all this time I can’t get my head around ‘how MEP operates’. It seems to me that it works well for some and others fall in the cracks and get lost forever.

    My X abandoned us…….left and never to be found. I only have a basic separation agreement (and support agreement) and can’t seem to get officially divorced until I some how FIND him. Crazy! MEP adds the court order support agreement BUT, I can’t collect because not one person in the system (Lawyers, OR MEP) can find him. However, he’s all over the net and boldly on facebook which he blatantly shares where he lives along with his family members who also clearly indicate where he is as they have a few of them have MOVED to the same province. I just can’t manage to obtain his actual street address.

    When I did phone MEP to tell him what community he lives in along with the Province I did mention to them whenever he registers his car won’t you then receive the information? The person I was speaking to on the phone said, “well maybe but, doubtful.” I asked why when MEP has an agreement with this province? MEP person said, “well if the person who is handling his registration doesn’t think to look at page 2 where we have a ‘flag’ then they won’t take any notice of it and report back to us.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? A huge flaw in the MEP system.

    MEP tells me to find him myself and to report concrete evidence such as bills and a copy of his drivers license, VIM of his vehicle and a recent photo . I do NOT have the money to fly 3000 KM, stay in hotels, rent a car and then drive around and somehow do P.I work to locate his actual house and then what ……….sift through his garbage to find some paper work??

    Also he belonged to a Union and that was never looked into. And yes I did hand over his registered consultant business name and license but, that wasn’t looked into either.

    Shortly after he left the house I asked my in-laws to please pass along a message that his daughter really wants to spend time with him but, nothing ever came of that…tried several times to no avail.

    Over the 15 year span, I’ve paid off all our debts including paid off the house that we purchased including reno debts. When he left he took the car and emptied the bank accounts. I even had a bank collector place a caveat on the house 10 years after he left because apparently he purchased a car and never made any payments so that showed me he was still using this address and expecting me to pay for whatever he purchased along the way.

    How can somebody go underground yet, have a consulting business, pay taxes, purchase large items, have a bank account and yet MEP can’t find him?

    Non of it makes any sense to me – MEP has his SIN, DOB recent photo from facebook the town he lives in and the province and I also found his consulting business license – BUT, NOPE not good enough. Not even good enough for me to have a divorce because as the judges have all said, “He must be notified and has to be served according to the law.” REALLY??? well I guess I’ll be married for the remainder of my days and my daughter will NEVER see her father again because I can’t physically find him and MEP will just add on the monthly court support agreement and do nothing else.

    I even went as far as to hire a P. I. gave this person everything…. all documents including the ISP addy along with his Facebook info paid the $$$ for this lazy P.I. who said oh yeah found him and only gave me the longitude and latitude pertaining to his location – Gotta be kidding me!

    Why Doesn’t MEP accept information from Facebook after all the police do??

    Anyways that’s my story – MEP has been useless for us.

  12. Errol
    July 17, 2015 at 1:06 am

    MEP (Maintenance Enforcement Program) or (Men’s Eternal Punishment)
    I have been dealing with MEP for years. From my experiences it seems they are designed to ruin the life of the non-custodial parent (Man).

    The Canadian courts are EXTREMELY gender biased towards women when it comes to child custody. In most cases if you have a penis you are automatically wrong or at fault. I have heard of cases of a separation where the father is granted custody, but these must be very few and far between. I have known many many people who have children and have separated, but I’ve yet to meet a father who has custody of his children.

    MEP is currently enforcing child support payments based on me making $56000 / year. I have NEVER in my life made anything even close to that amount. The Maintenance Recalculation Program (MRP) raises the amount every year regardless if they receive my tax return or not. My notice of assessment from the federal government (REVENUE CANADA) apparently is not enough “proof” for them. They require a T1 General.

    Recently it was recalculation time again. I needed a T1 General. The guy at H & R Block didn’t even know what the hell they were asking for. I got the MRP on the phone and they were able to explain to H & R Block what was required. Ok I finally get ALL the forms and get them down to the MRP office. I get a call stating they received the forms and they might recalculate. Might? WTF! I jumped through all your hoops and you might recalculate?

    I am disabled. I have severe arthritis and crohn’s disease and am unable to work. I am currently on EI and trying to get on AISH. MEP is garnisheeing my EI payments at 50% and I’m still going into arrears. They KNOW what I make on EI (it’s garnisheed), but that doesn’t matter.

    I have lost my drivers license numerous times. MEP has threatened to take all of my belongings. MEP has stated that I will garnisheed until my oldest daughter is 25 years old. MEP is nearly impossible to reach by phone, so good luck trying to make any arrangements with them. Even IF you can make arrangements MEP will not keep it’s word and still take action against you.

    MEP can and WILL enforce outdated court orders. The only alternative is to fight it in court…which takes time (MEP will STILL be squeezing your balls the whole time) and money. Money that I DON’T HAVE because MEP is taking half my income.

    I used to go to a men’s support group for people in my situation. It was one horror story after another. The draconian measures taken out by MEP were beyond belief. The ruined lives and broken men were tragic. There was a lot of talk, but it went nowhere. There are no laws being changed or updated. There is no progress being made for men’s rights when it comes to child custody. It became to depressing. One of the members committed after being literally hounded to death by MEP and never having any access to his children. I stopped going shortly after that. I wonder how many men have taken their own lives because of MEP? After my dealings with MEP all I can say is that I understand why he did it.

    I’m exhausted from fighting with MEP. I feel like a boxer getting into the ring for the hundredth round…and I’ve got years to go. MEP does not seem to follow any rules or have any accountability. MEP is far worse than even the taxman. I am terrified to open my mail box (I make my roommate do it) because I know it will be another threatening letter from MEP or a notice of raised payments. I have at times received several threatening letters per week from MEP.

    MEP has ruined my life. I fear MEP. I really don’t know if I will be able to survive being in MEP’s grasp. They stress me out to the point where I am physically ill. My Crohn’s will flare up when I’ve had to deal with MEP. It has gotten to the point where death or prison seems like a plausible alternative to MEP. At least the torment would finally be over.

  13. Tyson
    October 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

    When I split with my ex-wife she left my son with me robbed me sold all of our possessions even my sons things disappeared into the night a year goes by only heard from her a hand full of times she comes back takes me to court I loose and have to pay her $2,600 a month I could not afford that and I had my kid half the time now she was doing lots of drugs and admitted on her court paper to prostitute and not a judge or anyone out gives two shits about it she wins forces my name and runs it into the dirt it’s been three years now I have found a new partner and it’s hard new baby and everything maintenance does not care or try and reason our government system on child support and maintence is a joke

  14. dartfran
    November 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I am from Nova Scotia. He is working in and out of Alberta with a permanent residence in Alberta.

    I haven’t received any maintenance from him in two months even though he swore up and down that he paid it.

    Speaking to my MEPS seems to be a waste of time with them always saying we will tell you if we hear from Alberta.

    This is one stressful situation.

    • Ace
      January 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      He probably has paid, but Alberta is keeping it on hold in hopes he doesn’t pay so they can deduct fees-that will leave you nothing.

  15. Rita
    December 21, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    MEP as far as this old bird is concerned is definately a very damaging family law.
    My mom raised 7 kids without their help and we all turned out great …al we wanted was for the biological father to be gone…..when she did kick him out we had all been thru many years of abuse …he would have been gone sooner but during those times no help came from police or social services because our situation was considered a domestic issue …. Long story /short she nor any of us wanted anything to do with him….Had MEP been in effect then guess what…he would have been in our lives and my poor mother would not have made it to 93..Bless her heart..
    my son has been dealing with MEP for over 16 years now and what a joke ..he too has considered suicide….lost his license and his ability to get to work..was a truck driver as many are ….Where in Gods name should the MEP be able to take away a mans/ womans way of making a paycheck ….Sad Sad Sad Shame Shame Shame on the do gooders and holy than thou that were given this power.

    I, to be fair think both parents should help to support both financial and hugs and all the things needed …only if the child wants and feels safe with both .

    When the government gets into making the rules for families …..suicides by children and parents r all too common …..and will is the issue for the kids …not vengence from the parents or the government ………

    Because of selfish behavior on behalf of the kids occurs nobody wins …especially the kids …when will someone wakeup and really be fair to the kids…

    I have custody of my sons daughter and have had for 12 years..she is now 18..and he has been in her life since I got custody (she was picked upby police in the middle of a drug bust…with her sister ) he was not given custody because the mother would not sign off on it … we have been raising her and her half sister ever since……..MEP did not get involved until she was 3 years old… they guess what charged my son back to the day she was born…stupid as this sounds her and her mother were supported by him for the first year of her life…then she u nd disappeared with her..and whenever we got close she would up and move …

    Long story short she was and is still a mess because of the drugs she was around but was and still is happy to have her dad in her life ….

    he is still trying to pay off these thieves..but just when he gets a groove on and all is good they nail him again missed a payment or 1 da y late look out guys and gals you will be hunted down and made to look like the worst person to walk this earth..

    I have talked to a few mothers/fathers on the supposed receiving end and they r as frustrated as most because they feel sick that there kids father/mother is close to ending their lives..and have tried to get out of maintance ..But once your in your in and it never ends ..

    Ok this is my venting. there r so many more things that I could say but ..not polite
    Please somebody fix this ugly breaking…child abuse

    grandma Rita

  16. Bob
    January 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Are there no current groups operating in Alberta to help 56 year old men that have basically lost everything because of MEP? Losing the house this month. No drivers, bank accounts, job, any future.
    I have nothing left. They gutted me.

  17. Jennifer foot
    January 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    While I feel for those that truly are being abused by the system what about those who also lose out due to the other parties refusal to pay. My ex has taken every penny out of our joint personal and corporate accounts leaving my daugher and I nothing to live on. In addition he refuses to pay his support. He is 18,000 in arrears for 6 months of support payments. He has refused to provide any information to MEP and he has had his liscense suspended, leins issued on property, registry restriction, canada wide bank garnishment, federal liscence denial and various other collection tactics. I’ve offered him numerous options to pay and he’s ignored them. So in my opinion for people such as my ex Im glad MEP in alberta is able to take the neccessary steps to try and collect for me.

  18. Bob
    February 6, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Hi. Some terrible stories as is mine. Is there a group in Canada taking FMEP to court under the charter of rights , your legal rights to life..if there are documents that prove they have stolen

  19. Deab Woodland
    February 23, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I have quite a bit of story to tell,.. I was depressed ever since i was a young teen (12-13). I have tried to commit suicide when i was 14, I ended up getting help which did no use. I dropped out of school after finishing grade 8 for the 2nd time and ended up going to work with my father and learning a trade. When I was 19 I was a severe drug addict, alcoholic, you name it. I had tried to commit suicide one night and just as I was about to cut (I actually had the motive to do it), My fathers girlfriend yelled at me for the phone. my “Ex-GF” ended up calling me to come have a cigarette with her (it was about 10pm) and talk for a bit. (I met her a few years prior but never really hung out much, she was on house arrest for trying to stab her sister with a butter knife). I ended up having a sexual encounter with her, used a condom which had broken off the ring when i pulled out. She told me she was on birth control too. 2 months later i found out she was pregnant and was saying i was the father from 1 of her friends, i immediatly went and found her (The town was drug ridden and the economy was so bad, small town). We ended up talking about our relationship, and I wanted to be a father to this child, and I did love her (not from the sex, but all the time we did spend together having real talks). I asked for her permission to leave the town to ontario (Mothers residence) to get off my drugs and get back on my feet. It took me longer then expected (I came back when the baby was 9 months old, i use to call all the time to talk with him, first words was daddy). I was so happy, when i came back, she was living with my aunt (1 of my cousins gave up their room for her because her parents kicked her out). Every morning at 6am she would come down to the kitchen (yes i had to sleep in the kitchen on the floor, i had $10.00 in my pocket, spent all my money travelling back to nova scotia). I was so happy for a change, and me and her were getting along so great like a real couple. After a month of this my aunt told us that we had to move out, i ended up getting a job at the call center and welfare ended up giving her a furnished apartment. She did not tell welfare about me and they had no idea (i was not even on the childs birth certificate). When she did this, she did a complete 180 in regards to her attitude. She started denying me access to see my son and I tried to help her as best I could. I was living with my grand parents sleeping on an old couch working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week athte callcenter just to afford food and rent. She was so mentally abusive to me and regards of me trying to give her things for the baby (Clothes, toys, food), even asking her to take me grocery shopping and ill pay for it, whatever you want (i had saved up to do this). Over time it got worse and worse, very quickly too. I had to get my cousin who my ex-gf trusted and would still talk to, to babysit the baby for an hour and would bring him to see me. I loved this child very much and never gave my ex a reason to hate me. I even sought out a lawyer and acquired court documents and was told by the lawyer I saw (who I would not beable to afford) they guaranteed me custody of my son. After thought I couldnt do it, i could not take a child away from their mother. And after all the threats i was recieving from my ex to leave and get out of their lifes and everything else (she even started spreading rumors that I was using drugs again which I was not). After 10 months I had enough, i came to a decision, to either continue with this and risking my sanity, ending up on drugs or even jail or committing suicide. I ended up leaving back to ontario and starting to better my life. I was given a job and even dealing with my own problems (Depression, Paranoia, Suicidal Thoughts) i managed to keep with this job and rent to my brother. 1 point she called me up asking for money, I told her I cant do it right this second but when I get payed I can wire you money, she in a rage told me to never mind and to go fuck myself. (750$ for day care)… She refused contact with me and even when i tried to send any money it was refused.

    My brother who i was renting a room off, ended up selling his home because he was now expecting his own child. I moved in with my mother and ended up being laid off my job. In trying to find a job and being in the area im in (far from work) ended up getting severly depressed and suicidal again. About 2 years ago I received a letter from FRO demanding quite a large sum of money. I had worked dead end jobs that were temporary just to pay for food and rent (My mother is very lenient). I know my depression and my suicidal thoughts are no concern but my own. I couldnt receive help, i was in a shell. After finding out FRO is now demanding money I do not have. I tried to dig myself out, to better myself again. Now finding out I cannot get a drivers license and the thoughts of being arrested and thrown in jail because I cant keep up. I have dug myself into another hole. I am now convinced to commit suicide as the only option I have. I do have this hope in my head that I will not resort to that.

    I want to get my drivers license and do the trade I was taught to do, but without a license I cant. Every job I apply for has required drivers licenses. Even warehouse work that Is not in my trade category required me to have a drivers license. And I cant get anywhere. Its been quite some time since I have heard anything from FRO. Its only a matter of time. Im honestly afraid.

    • dd
      February 26, 2019 at 10:23 am

      sounds like you have always qualified for Legal Aid and help from the system. good counseling and going back to school to get a trade may be to your advantage.

  20. Ken
    March 3, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    there needs to be some checks and balances in place to protect against vindictive mothers and judges!
    after 2 years this system has completely destroyed my ability to stay in my kids lives and i loved them more than anything, I had to give up
    still making 60,000 a year and homeless in Alberta, if it wasn’t for the kindness of others i would be dead,
    what a racket

  21. J
    March 11, 2016 at 1:22 am

    What can grand parents do when the child has been brainwashed against seeing family ? Is there any help to prove alienation ?

    • NoNoNo
      March 11, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Very little and lawyers don’t help because in my opinion they say the parents can decide. Best thing to do just get along with your grandchild’s parents.

  22. Alex
    May 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I paid child support to FMEP every month. My ex moved to Alberta, lied to MEP, claiming I had never once paid child support. Rather than investigating her claims, MEP simply accepted her lies as gospel truth and immediately sent those lies to the justice department. Now, after deductions and all the money they take based on her lies, I take home around $7/hr. I’m two months behind in rent and other debts I have are increasing greatly. In another short while, I’ll be living on the street, and why? Because those unprofessional, uninelligent, evil-minded f#cksticks over at MEP just blindly accept whatever a woman says so they can screw over a man any way they can. These organizations should be illegal. I can’t believe they are permitted to operate like this in a country like Canada.

    • Mark
      May 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Have you kept records of the payments you made to her prior to her going to MEP? Hopefully you did and by those records you can prove what you have paid.

      Were those payments by a court order or separation agreement? They should be told if it was. MEP cannot enforce any payments unless there is an official court document.

      lastly, if you have the records, take her to court and you do not need a lawyer. With proof you can recover or get credit for what you paid.

  23. Mike
    December 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I separated from my wife at the age of 32 and moved back with my mom and dad. My son was a year old at the time. I immediately started writing her child support checks, as I was advised by a lawyer. By the second payment, she had bought herself a brand new SUV. Every other week, I’d notice nice new furniture and improvements to the house.

    For the record, I’m a pipefitter by trade. She is a occupational therapist at the hospital. She makes a better hourly wage than myself. Not to mention, she is a product of a wealthy family and is used to having things handed to her in life.

    When I left, I left everything behind. She kept the house, furniture, etc. I took a job out of town to get back on my feet, sacrificing a lot of time spent with my son. However I was able to buy a house a few block from her in order to stay close to my son. I was lucky, this was the best year I’ve had in my financial career. Living with mom and dad, rent free, I was able to get on track.

    I spent roughly $25,000 on lawyers since the separation. They did nothing. They burned up all my retainer money on emails and phone calls. I spent maybe 4 hours in meetings. Never once did I see the inside of a courtroom. My ex wife was, what I like to call, legally bullying me with the financial backup of her wealthy parents. For example, instead of a simple phone call or text directly to myself asking what time my son had his medication the night before, she would call her lawyer, who would contact my lawyer, who would contact me. Usually costing a couple hundred dollars all said and done. Did I also mention her sister is a lawyer?.. That’s right, for the same firm representing my ex. $25,000 wasted away. She wouldn’t budge on anything. Not even sharing every second Christmas with me. The contract her Lawyers wrote up was horrible. She even added a clause that I owed her additional money.

    After living with my parents for two years, my legal retainer dwindled down, I had just enough for a down payment on my house. However, the bank won’t sign a mortgage until I’m divorced. So, I had to sign the bogus contract that I mentioned.

    I’m moved into my new house. No more free rent at the parents house. I’m living check to check working 40 hours a week. It’s not all bad, I get my son every Thursday, Friday and every second weekend (40% if you ask me).

    I never missed a child support payment since we separated. I was paying her direct with personal checks. I had some unexpected repairs to do on my truck. For the first time, I was going to be a week late on my child support. This is when she gets MEP involved. Since then, I’m struggling to make ends meet.

    With the Alberta economy the way it is, I am about to lose my shirt. Living check to check, how do I now afford legal representation to get shared custody? MEP called me last week to advise me of a recalculation form they sent. I told her I had just been laid off and of my financial situation, she tells me I need to go to court to have my payments adjusted. Once again, anybody know a free lawyer?

    Once I sell my sons dirtbike, liquidate all my tools and belongings, sell my truck and House,… Do you think MEP will be able find out which tent I live in to send threatening letters of compounded interest on late fees? I suppose they can always call the salon where my ex wife gets her hair and nails done once a week. Maybe even reach her at one of the fancy restaurants she eats at. She will know were to find me, because at the end of it all, I will still be close to my son.

    • March 27, 2017 at 1:53 am

      If you are in hardship, and she is wealthy & earns more than you do … turn the tables on her and make an application for Spousal support. Why not as what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Then get a legal aid lawyer to have your child support payments adjusted to your current income. That should throw her for a loop.

      If you did not sign the birth certificate at birth, you can also ask her to pay for a DNA to prove you are the father. Even if this is all smoke, let her bite her fingernails for a change. If she denies you access to the children, file a court order of denial and let the court handle it. NO matter what you do, it will be messy … governments should stay out of people’s personal lives and let them settle it themselves. Too many children are growing up in a fatherless home and that is just not right and the child suffers which I feel is child abuse.

  24. Shauna Hamelin
    December 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    The problem isn’t with our exes. And it isnt even with MEP. At the end of the day it’s with the corrupt system that forces us to work for money then forces us to spend that money. They do this by what ever means necessary, including by using our children as black mail. Anything to keep us working for money and keep the money moving through hands and keep us enslaved. They keep inventing ways to “make life easier” but really those inventions only keep us more helpless and enslaved. Our exes feel hurt, just as we doso we all make stupid choices not even realizing that we are missing the big picture. None of us realizes in the heat of the battle that we are just feeding the corrupt system that none of us ever agreed too. None of us ever agreed that we should have to work for money. That we should have to pay for houses that we can never really own. That we should have to pay taxes for everything. We are raised to believe that we need to go to school. Finish school. Get the highest paying job we can. Then go forth and multiply. And spend, spend, spend. Society dictates that we need to have the best of everything to be good enough and when we cant reach that our lives and relationships fall apart. Perfect for the system that just keeps getting richer off of the suffering of whole communities. Now our children are being taught the same things, and we don’t have a say in it. Not one single person ever agreed to live their lives by these rules, and yet we are forced to all while being told how lucky we are to be living in a free country. This country isn’t free. There’s nothing free about it. When our children are born we can’t leave the hospital with them without filling out and signing their birth information. If we the parents of our children decided to home school our children, they still need to be registered and we still need to follow the school curriculum. We are not even aloud to have a court free separation. You can’t do any major banking or get a mortgage if you are only separated. All ways that the system keeps you tied in by effecting your ability to provide for your basic needs. I have been both the giver and the receiver of MEP. They make the receivers life just as miserable. If your paperwork isn’t right then they hold your payment until you get it to them in the form they deem appropriate. But again MEP I’d not really the problem. The system that put MEP in place and gave them the rights they have are the problem. The people that give MEP the ability to seize a person’s bank account without first serving them with court documents advising that they are being taken to court are the problem. And we the people are letting them do so. We are so caught up in fighting eachother from the results of our lives after trying to servival the system that we don’t bother fighting to change the system that obviously isn’t working. Has no one thought to wonder why the divorce rate has drastically increased in just one single generation? I mean let’s face it the majority of our parents didn’t get divorced.

  25. Lee B
    February 12, 2017 at 7:51 am

    So, I am on the other end of the argument. My X left us after 19 years of marriage and 3 kids. He was a controlling ass who swore he would never pay a dime. He has made 3 payments in 10 years. Lives under whatever girlfriend, uses bank accounts in their names. still drives even though maintenance took away his licence. So fast forward to today. I have moved on – 10 years has passed. He is in arrears over 100,000. Kids are all grown. We struggled, going hungry and not having any extras – but made it. The economy has kicked everyone in Alberta and my kids are struggling badly. I wondered if maintenance would still go after him? Apparently he is not a priority as the kids are grown. He works under the table doing carpentry and renovations. He works under a buddy’s name. He does not file taxes. He still drives and tells everyone they just have to wait it out til kids are grown. Maintenance loses interest. He gets away with it.

    • Mark
      February 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

      IF what you say is true, that he totally neglected the kids and avoided paying most anything, and that you have not signed up for Family Maintenance in the past, then what you have to do is go to court and get a court order that says you can collect past maintenance. The order must be current for best results.

      Family maintenance cannot act without a court order. If the court refuses to grant you that order, then maybe a civil law suit, but I believe then your out of luck. Best then to speak with a lawyer.

      Why did I say “not signed up…in the past”?

      This because Family Maintenance has a serious responsibility issue. They cause decent payors who do pay, to not pay because they abuse court orders, allow recipients to use them to violate court orders and cheat payors, and they act outside their authority. This is why this project was created, at least so I understand.

      Yet I have heard Family Maintenance are as bad with recipients, so if you are truly a decent person who has no personal interest to screw your ex and all you seek is proper & fair compensation, you may not like FMEP, just a FYI.

      As far as succeeding with FMEP, good luck, because they have hundreds of cases to work on and any traditional administrative enforcement that does not work, will not get your money from a person who is good as averting them.

      Also as a final note, by law, if you sign up with them, but later want to remove yourself from their clutches, you have to send the Director of FMEP a signed letter (best to get it notarized) that you want them to stop any further action and remove you from their system. This is for British Columbia. Any other province you need to read their provincial law mandating FMEP.

      All the best.

    • March 27, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Lee … yes you can go after him. Arrears and support has no deadline. You simply need to reactivate with FMEP giving them where he lives and an order will be sent to him to pay up in full. If he ignores the order then he can be fined approx. $5,000 plus 30 days in jail. Anything he has in his name can be seized. If he should be on EI, then that too can be seized; If he has any RRSPs, pensions, etc,. they too can be seized. FMEP does not lose interest, you have to direct them with action you want taken. They are brutal with the men owing money but also from what I have read up on them, they are also corrupt. They have huge power.

    • April 13, 2017 at 12:36 am

      It does not matter if the children are adults. The Court Order can still be enforced by FMEP. Court Order remains in force until the beneficiary cancels it. Maintenance never loses interest as they make mega $$ off the parents as does the Provincial Government.

  26. An angry woman on the other side
    March 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    MEP should be sued for their actions. They prey on ignorant women primarily and target those hard up for money that see child support as a literal form to earn an income. I can feed myself and support myself for less than the support guidelines. For them to take a license, an Id, a passport, garnish bank accounts, garnish pay chqs without notice is unconstitutional. They affect ones ability to earn a livelihood. As a wife to my husband I suffer and live like a prisoner despite not having any kids myself. And at times I want to walk over to this woman’s place, drag her by the hair, and beat her into a coma or until her teeth fall out and break every one of her fingers and toes. That’s honestly how much she enraged me. The kid was a product of a one night stand, should have jizzed on the floor is what I tell hubby but he was drunk and didn’t know better. I beg him everyday to give up his rights to that child. She doesnt respect him. She doesn’t call on holidays or bday unless it’s to ask for money over and above support. Why do the innocent pay for the mistakes of others? I am divorcing my husband because I cannot stand living like a prisoner anymore. I cannot and will not support a child that was a mistake and not even mine to claim. We need to band together as people and file a Supreme Court case against MEP and claim that service is a violation to a humans rights and to the charter of Canadian rights a freedoms.

    • Stephanie Keisarion
      March 15, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      I wish i could hug you. Same boat. I am held hostage and my children are held hostage because of a child we dont even see that my husband has nothing to do with. Its ridiculous. Its like her child only counts and mine dont. She only counts and i dont. I have no idea what to do anymore. Run out of money for lawyers.

  27. Russ
    April 27, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I’m not even able to get a job. I’m in arrears for 50k. The ex poisoned the kids against me who are now adults. They first started calling me a child molesting pedophile about 10 years ago. Now they and thier friends call me a full blown serial child rapist and threaten my life! Never seen them since the divorce 20 years ago. Pulled my licence .. can t even work on a farm with no licence. But yet even after all this life destroying shit I still have to pay. Tired of ending up homeless already.

  28. neil
    June 28, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I’m so sick of m.e.p they have been after me for years
    my ex get my kids up to child services over 17 years ago and m.e.p knows all about it and they still want money from me I cant get any kind of real work I was doing before I cant drive and just about every job now a days you need your licence to do I’m hoping this is the last time I have to go to court they profile everyone and come up with out of this world numbers for what so they can get a take on it too and this arrears bull that the crown wants a person to pay how do they come up with that really dose m.e.p pay the crown to rip you off couse if everything ive been reading and finding the dam crown has no rights been in court when its the two people that are to deal with it

    • Garry Giesbrecht
      December 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      how is it possible that your kids taken in to social services that many years ago and you still have to pay?

    • Mark
      December 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      I get your upset, been there myself, but with what you wrote is just bitter rambling and gives no information that anyone here can use to understand this and maybe help.

      Can you give more information, like do you still owe maintenance and have not paid, etc?


  29. Garry Giesbrecht
    December 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I just found out that my Mep went to collections. was not notified of any action. My case with mep shares with SK and AB. AB tells SK that I owe back support. My youngest is 23 now. I’m finding hard to believe that after 5 yrs they can come back and say you Deadbeat you still owe. Yes I had wages garnished and when that was done I got a check in the mail stated I was finished and received a credit back for OVER PAYMENT…… 3 yrs later get a letter saying I still owe, and now to have it go to collections. Cost me an approval for a vehicle.

    What do I do now? Just because AB says I owe and SK is just following orders? I have requested proof , when , where , how. Never received as much as a return call from SK mep.

    • Mark
      December 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Documentation -if you still have the documentation that clearly states your maintenance is finished and owe nothing, then send them a copy of it, – with tracking on the letter.

      In any documentation sent to you regarding maintenance, there is a file or account number. If this recent notice has the same number, your good.

      If it has a different number, then you need to obtain copies of orders which you are entitled to receive.

      I am supposing AB is Alberta Government.

      Any new orders must send you a copy. Everything MEP does to garnish, to take action as court orders, attachments, etc have to send you a notice and a copy of the order.

      Don’t expect MEP to be reasonable and give you a call, you have to chase after them for the information.

      Plus contact the Alberta department responsible for this and make attempts to find out from that end also. Could be if your ex went to welfare, the Government is trying to charge you for that cost, but that is a big guess about that end of it.

      Worst case scenario, involve a lawyer, at least to get the documentation, then decide if you want to continue with a lawyer to go to court.

  30. Derek
    March 19, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Are there any support/information groups for men in Alberta?

  31. clayton Radomske
    July 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Just like a lot of other father on this site MEP has been difficult to deal with. Looking for other how to fight for our rights. Please contact me either email or cell 7809203821.

  32. Mike N.
    October 23, 2018 at 2:53 am

    My brother beat MEP. Got the judge to admit “you are not the person named on all this documentation.” But you’ll never see it. I go in to the Brownlee Bldg. I ask ‘What about Nicolis v. Da Costa?” Response: We’ve never heard of that. There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice. Fighting the state means dying of slow starvation. Throughout the history of civilization the single greatest threat to the lives of men and women has always been government. Theirs is the hardest game in the world to play. Super easy to win, though. Last time i was on the phone with them, i offered to get them a death certificate. Told them it would be a win-win-win! And the best part, my sons would have it in their minds going forward, if/when these lying thieving bastards get them down, they can always jump off this Monopoly board. I’m property. I’m owned. I have masters they have a program why can’t i just get with the program?? Uhh, no i don’t think so. 4.5 years. They know exactly where i am working. Haven’t come near me or my money. I know it’s not my money. That’s not MY FACE on it. Anyway, i just here until i not.

  33. joe
    February 26, 2019 at 5:20 am

    I spent 20 years fighting with MEP. my story isn’t any better or worse than everyone elses on here. my last couple of years paying support were screwed because of the economy and just trying to live..I fell behind by about 12000 and I am one of the lucky ones who is able to get back out in the work force and quickly get these bottom feeder government agents off my ass. im going hard to try to get this taken care of within three or four months and ill finally be done with this situation. MEP is of course working to make things hard by locking me out of my bank accounts and supending my registration on my vehicle even though ive been trying to pay them 500 a week.

    I was wondering if anyone on this site has dealt with some guy named “Mohamid” who works at the Edmonton branch MEP. I think he goes out of his way to make things difficult for the people who are paying. id actually like to lay charges on him or them for continuing to keep the suspension on my vehicle registration even though im working hard to try to get this bill paid off so I can finally take a breath of fresh air again…something I haven’t done for 20 years .

    anyway…I feel for you individuals on here who have been forced into poverty by the system and grudging ex’s. this system is not fair at all and the thing we all as a whole need to do is to do like the rest of society and bring “In youre face” awareness to the public by protesting and marching…but unfortunately the propaganda that has spread about “Deadbeat” fathers and how mean and evil they are throughout the years has damaged any credibility that any of us can bring forth as a whole unit. I know at least 1 out of every 2 people who I have ever talked to about this system agrees that its unjust and wrong. I just wish that we could get a few strong focussed leaders to take the first plunge so we as a whole unit could begin a army of borge and work together to get the laws changed so that this system is not only for the mothers…but to also work properly for the children and the fathers as well.

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