October 2014
PFD | Family

Child Support Recalculation Service (SARPA) comes into effect

By Marie-Ève Dufort Lawyer, Eloïse Pion Lawyer

On April 1, 2014, Québec's new child support recalculation service, (SARPA), which is administered by the Commission des services juridiques, came into effect. The SARPA makes it possible for parents to recalculate determined child support payments without having to return to court.

Parents may use the SARPA when the following conditions are met:

  • Child support is received or paid for children under the age of 18
  • The parents habitually reside in Québec
  • The total disposable income of both parents does not exceed $200 000 per year
  • The child support was determined according to the Child Support Determination Form without any adjustments

A parent may use the SARPA to recalculate a payment amount in the following cases:

  • The financial situation of one or both parents has changed (increased or decreased).
  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child has changed, as long as the custody arrangement remains the same (shared, sole, expanded access).
  • The number of dependent children has changed.
  • The child has new expenses (e.g. orthodontic costs, private school fees, sports activities, etc.).

Should a parent dispute the facts alleged in an application for recalculation, the parties may turn to the court or begin family mediation. In this case, the SARPA will not review the application. In addition, the SARPA cannot recalculate child support when judicial assessment is required:

  • when the recalculation impacts the custody agreement (sole custody with or without access or shared custody)
  • when the court that determined child support was called upon to establish the income of one of the parents (e.g. because the information provided by the parent was incomplete or disputed)
  • when a parent's income decreased for one of the following reasons: maternity or paternity leave, adoption leave, sabbatical leave, leave without pay, deferred pay leave, time management, return to school, retirement, career change or termination of employment.

The SARPA recalculation application fee is $275. The application must be filled out and filed online at or in person at a legal aid office.

Do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers in our family law sector for more information on changing a child support order.