Can Alimony Be Suspended or Terminated?
A judgment establishes the alimony agreement. Therefore, it can only be suspended or canceled by another judgment. Find out in this article everything you need to know about it!
The Amount of the Alimony
The amount to be paid depends on the resources or income of the debtor and the needs of the child(ren): clothing, food, school fees, transportation costs, housing, etc. Please note that alimony is not intended to cover exceptional or unforeseen expenses such as school trips, medical expenses, etc. However, it is possible to find a common agreement between the ex-spouses in distributing these expenses. If this is not the case, recourse to a family court judge is recommended. The judge will determine the amount of each spouse’s contribution according to their respective resources.
The Different Cases That Can Suspend or Cancel the Alimony
Alimony must be paid monthly to cover the child’s current needs. According to the standards, this payment stops when the child becomes an adult. If the child is still financially dependent on his or her parents, support payments may be renewed. In some cases, the support may be suspended or terminated:
If the debtor’s income decreases significantly, or if the debtor becomes unemployed. In this case, the payment is temporarily suspended.
- If the creditor parent’s income increases significantly.
- If the parents change the custody of their children to alternating custody
- If the parents contribute equally to the education and maintenance of their children.
- If the child works and can support himself or herself with the income earned. In other words, if the child is financially independent.
- If the child no longer wishes to work due to an incident in their previous job, i.e., dismissal or abandonment of the job.
The Steps to Take To Request the Suspension or Cancellation of the Alimony
There is a procedure to follow in the case of a suspension or suppression of alimony. A request must be filed with the Family Court. The application must be sent by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt, addressed to the tribunal de grande instance of the former spouse’s place of residence. This letter must contain the following documents.
- a copy of the debtor’s identity card;
- a complete copy of the debtor’s civil status certificate, as well as that of his or her children, that is less than 3 months old;
- a letter introducing the request;
- a copy of the divorce or legal separation judgment;
- a full copy of the family record book or marriage contract dated less than 3 months ago;
- a completed Cerfa n°11530*06 form;
evidence to justify the change of situation requiring the suspension or cancellation of the alimony payment, such as a copy of the payslip of the debtor and the creditor, the child’s work contract, etc.
To ensure that the application for suspension or termination of support payments is carried out correctly, it is strongly recommended that you consult a family law attorney.
Without having obtained the judgment and approved an agreement by a court officer, the debtor is obliged to pay support. If not, he or she may be liable for the payment(s) he or she failed to make. As a result, some of his assets will be seized by the ex-spouse or by Revenue Quebec. He may also be held in contempt of court.