Changing a Child Support Order or Agreement

Both parents may not agree to change (vary) an existing child support order or agreement.  It is the responsibility of the party (parent) who wants to change a support order to ask the court to vary the child support. 

An application to vary a child support order may ask the court to either increase or decrease the amount of child support being paid or to forgive all or part of the arrears the payor owes. It is common for parents to ask to change their child support order, especially when personal circumstances change, i.e. financial situation (loss or increase of income), or if a child’s living status changes (no longer dependent or living at home with either parent).

How do I apply to change a child support order or agreement?

If you do not have a lawyer, a Child Support Guidelines Officer can assist you in seeking to vary an existing child support order either through the courts or out of court through a Consent Order.

What is the role of the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) in an application to vary an order?

If your current order is registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), MEP will continue to enforce the existing child support order or agreement.

If the court varies the order, you or your lawyer must provide a copy of the new order to MEP as soon as possible. The original order will be enforced until the new order is registered.

What if one parent lives outside PEI?

If one parent lives in another province, territory or country, the process to change a child or spousal support order is streamlined under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (for orders made under provincial legislation) or the Divorce Act ( for orders made under the Divorce Act). Visit the Child Support from Out of Province webpage for more information. 

Who can I contact for assistance?

You may contact a Child Support Guidelines Officer for assistance:

Child Support Services Office
Family Law Centre (Charlottetown) 
Phone: (902) 368-6220


Published date: 
February 23, 2021