You can change a child support agreement or court order if the situation changes, for example if there is an increase or a decrease in the income of one of the parents.
The Quebec government has a service called Services administrative de rajustement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants or “SARPA” (child support adjustment service). SARPA lets parents change the amount of support payments for any children under 18. They do not have to go back to court. Instead, they can ask SARPA to change the court decision that ordered or approved the support payments for these children. The Commission des services juridiques (legal aid) is responsible for this service.
Usually, one parent can apply to SARPA without the agreement of the other parent. But in some situations, both parents must agree.
To use the SARPA service, the parents must meet specific requirements, for example, the child must be under 18 and the parents’ situation must have changed.
To learn more, visit the SARPA website. The site has an interactive questionnaire to help you find out if you qualify for this service. You can also read Éducaloi’s article Changing Child Support Using the SARPA Service.
There are different ways to change a court decision that ordered or approved the support payments if you and the other parent agree on the change.
If you qualify, you can use the SARPA service explained above.
The Homologation Assistance Service (HAS) is another government service parents can use to change the amount of child support payments. To use the service, parents must agree on the change. For a reasonable fee, a lawyer will prepare the necessary documents and send them to the special court clerk for approval (called “homologation”). For more information, visit the website of the Commission des services juridiques (legal services commission) and click on the Homologation tab. Or you can call the legal aid office in your area (even if you don’t qualify for legal aid).
To learn more about SARPA and HAS, and about the choices you have, read Éducaloi’s article Changing Child Support Using the SARPA Service.
You might be able to use the SARPA service to change a court decision that ordered or approved the support payments.
If you don’t qualify for the SARPA service, you will have to ask the court to make the change. You can consult a lawyer for help.
Child support payments don’t stop automatically when a child turns 18. The parent who pays child support must ask a court for permission to stop or decrease the payment. To get help, parents can use the Homologation Assistance Service (HAS) offered in legal aid offices to all parents, including those who don’t qualify for legal aid.
To learn more, read Éducaloi’s article The End of Child Support Payments.
To learn more about child support in general, read Éducaloi’s article Child Support: Common Questions.