Thursday March 09 2023
Supporting a Child Who Reaches the Age of Majority
When a child reaches the age of majority, many parents believe that they no longer have to pay child support. However, this belief is partially incorrect. In fact, both the Divorce Act and the Civil Code of Quebec provide for the possibility of paying support for a child over the age of majority, but under certain conditions and always according to the best interest of the child.
When parents are married, the Divorce Act considers that a child over 18 years old is still a “child of the marriage” if that child is still dependent on his or her parents and cannot support him or herself. 
The Civil Code of Quebec also provides that a child of full age may receive support if he or she cannot "ensure his or her own support". 
Thus, it is understandable that parents can request the Court to not pay or to no longer pay support for their child of full age, but only if the child is financially independent and no longer depends on his parents for his subsistence.
How do we assess the ability of a child of full age to support himself or herself?
The Court of Appeal has clearly established the legal principles that apply when assessing support for a child of full age:
- The child over the age of 18 has no means of support, and has taken all available means to attempt to support himself or herself
- The child of full age is physically or mentally incapable of supporting himself or herself
Furthermore, it must be certain that the child of full age is not receiving any assistance, or at least insufficient assistance to support himself or herself.
In general, full-time studies, illness and disability are often the situations that justify support for a child over the age of 18.
In conclusion, modifying child support for a child over the age of majority can be an important issue. Do not hesitate to consult a lawyer from our family law team for advice in this matter.
Me Samar Bentaleb,
With the collaboration of Leila Mahi-Bahi Amar
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.
This text contains legal information of a general nature and should not replace legal advice with a lawyer or notary who will take into account the particularities of your situation.
Divorce Act, R.C.S 1985, ch. 3 (2nd Supp.), art. 16 (3).
Divorce Act, R.C.S 1985, ch. 3 (2nd Supp.), definitions « child of the marriage »
Civil Code of Quebec, c. CCQ-1991, art. 586 al. 2.
Droit de la famille – 138, 1984 C.A. 420, p.12
Droit de la famille – 22771, 2022 QCCS 2022, para. 14.