CHILD OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT (REGARDING THE OBTAINING, MODIFICATION OR CANCELLATION OF SUPPORT)
Support may be granted in many situations, but it usually is for the child, the adult child or the ex-spouse.
It is important that the child’s needs are met, and it is the parents’ responsibility to see that they are in a way that corresponds to their financial means and the duration of their custody. Child support covers children’s basic needs. Supplements may be added to the amount of the basic child support in order to reflect more adequately the child’s situation. It should be noted that an application for retroactive support can be granted to cover many past years where no support had been paid or where the amounts paid did not reflect what the child should have received. In most cases, the collection of such amounts is performed by Revenu Québec.
Child support can be amended. This usually occurs when the parents’ income changes. Furthermore, it is the parents’ responsibility to forward to the other parent proof of income on a yearly basis. Child support may also be amended when changes are made to child custody.
An application for the termination of child support can be made as soon as the child reaches the age of majority. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, the main one being that child support may still be paid if the adult child is still in school. In such cases, child support payments may be maintained until the end of the child’s undergraduate studies. However, since the child has now reached the age of majority, it is considered that they should be able to partially provide for themselves and, therefore, an application for the amendment of the amount of child support payments may be made.
Spousal support obligations stem from the marriage. It should be noted that, in Québec, there is no similar obligation between facto spouses.
Unlike child support, which is almost automatic in the conditions mentioned above, spousal support is not. Several criteria, namely the parties’ financial situations, the duration of the marriage and the expectation of financial autonomy are taken into account to determine if spousal support can be granted following the separation.
The outcome of an application for an amendment or termination will depend on what the court decided. It will have to be determined if the court had specified the duration of the support payments. Normally, it is necessary to perform a complete analysis of the parties’ situation to determine the relevancy of such an application.
Pour vous y retrouver et connaitre vos droits, laissez-nous vous accompagner et, le cas échéant, vous représenter dans votre processus de séparation. Nos avocats sauront vous éclairer selon votre situation.