Change spousal or partner support

How to apply to change an agreement or court order for spousal and partner support.

Overview

To change your support payments, you can apply for:

  • an increase, if you’re the recipient of support
  • a decrease, if you’re the payor of support

How to apply if you’re not married, common law or divorce hasn’t started

Step 1. Gather your documents

You will need to include the following documents in your application:

  • complete tax returns from the past 3 years
  • Notice of Assessment – a tax status form – from the past 3 years
  • pay stubs or other proof of income for this tax year
  • list of your monthly expenses, including receipts if possible
  • list of all your assets and debts
  • a copy of the agreement you want to change
    OR
    a copy of the order you want to change; if the order you want to change wasn’t made in Alberta, you must obtain a certified copy of the order from the court that made it

Step 2. Fill out the forms

Both parties live in Alberta

If you’re the recipient of support, fill out these forms:

If you’re the payor of support, and you’re applying to change an agreement, you will need to make an application in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

If you’re the payor of support, and you’re applying to change a court order, fill out these forms:

One party lives outside Alberta

If the other party lives in a reciprocating jurisdiction, you may change your court order.

If you’re the recipient of support, complete an application for interjurisdictional spousal support.

Note: You can also consider hiring a lawyer where the other party lives if you wish to apply directly in the other province or country.

Step 3. File your claim

Do this at the same court, in the same location, where you’ve either:

  • already been to court with the other party
  • started any court action that hasn’t gone to court

If you haven’t done either of these things, file your claim at any court in Alberta.

If you’re the payor and are applying to reduce your support, the amount of support you have to pay won’t change until the court has made an order.

Note: If you don’t come to court, the judge may make an order in your absence.

How to apply if you’re divorced or divorce has started

Step 1. Gather your documents

You will need to include the following documents in your application:

  • complete tax returns from the past 3 years
  • Notice of Assessment – a tax status form – from the past 3 years
  • pay stubs or other proof of income for this tax year
  • list of your monthly expenses, including receipts if possible
  • list of all your assets and debts
  • a copy of the agreement you want to change
    OR
    a copy of the order you want to change; if the order you want to change wasn’t made in Alberta, you must obtain a certified copy of the order from the court that made it

Step 2. Fill out the forms

Fill out this form:

If the other party lives outside of Canada, and you’re unable to personally serve them documents, you may need to apply to have the documents served another way.

To reduce arrears, fill out this form:

Step 3. File your claim

Do this at the same court, in the same location, where you’ve either:

  • already been to court with the other party
  • started any court action that hasn’t gone to court

If you haven’t done either of these things, file your claim at any court in Alberta.

If you’re the payor and are applying to reduce your support, the amount of support you have to pay won’t change until the court has made an order.

If you don’t come to court, the judge may make an order in your absence.