Children: a joint responsibility upon separation
About child support
Child support payments must be for the whole period when a child is unable to ensure his or her own subsistence, for example because he or she is a full-time student.
Support payments are made to cover a child's everyday needs, such as:
- household cleaning,
- personal hygiene,
- leisure activities.
Support payments are tax neutral, meaning that the person making a child support payment does not deduct it from his or her income, and the person receiving a child support does not add it to his or her income.
Determination of child support
Child support payments, when both parents live in Québec, are determined using the Québec model for the determination of child support payments, which sets the basic amount payable.
However, in a case of divorce where one of the parents does not live in Québec, the Federal Child Support Guidelines apply, although the parents may agree to apply the Québec model instead.
The amount of the child support is determined on the basis of:
- the income of both parents,
- the number of children,
- the custody time, and
- if applicable, other expenses for the child concerned.
Annual increase of child support payments
Child support payments increase on January 1 each year, based on the percentage increase in the annual pension index of the Régime de rentes du Québec.
In addition, each year the Ministère de la Justice adjusts the amounts indicated in the table used to determine child support payments to reflect changes in provincial and federal tax rates.
Obligation of the parents to exchange information about their income
To ensure that the child support payment continues to reflect each parent's financial situation, the parents are required to exchange information about their income no more than once a year, at the request of one of the parents.
Child who reaches the age of 18
A support payment does not stop automatically when a child reaches the age of 18.
Children who are unable to meet their own needs, for example because they are in full-time education or suffering from an illness, are considered to be dependents of their parents.
In such a case, the application is made by the parent who is partly responsible for meeting the child's needs, if the child does not object to the application; or the child may make an application for a support payment from both parents.
Support obligation of grandparents
Grandparents are not required by law to pay child support. There is no support payment obligation between grandparents and grandchildren.
Regulation to amend the Regulation of the Superior Court of Québec in family matters
The parties in a family law case must attest to whether or not they are subject to:
- A civil protection order under section 509 of the Code of Civil Procedure or a request related to such an order;
- An order, application, agreement or decision related to youth protection;
- An order, indictment, undertaking or recognizance related to a criminal matter.
Parties who fall into any of the above situations must file a notice with the court office and, if applicable, attach documentary evidence. The same applies if the situation changes in the course of proceedings.
Last update: April 16, 2023