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Separation and divorce

Changes in child custody

Generally, a judgment concerning the custody of a child is valid until that child turns 18. However, you can modify custody arrangements if a change in your situation occurs. To do this, you can either reach an agreement with the other parent or ask a judge to order the changes.

Did you know?

Since March 2021, the Divorce Act uses the term “parenting time” rather than “custody” and “access rights” when referring to the time that a child spends with each parent.

This means that if you were married, your legal proceedings and the court’s judgments will use the term “parenting time”.

However, the terms “custody” and “access rights” are still used for de facto spouses (also known as common law spouses).

Come to an agreement with the other parent

If you and your ex-partner agree on the custody changes, it’s a good idea to put your agreement in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.

You can also “homologate” your agreement, which means getting it approved by a court through a judgment.

Homologate your agreement without a lawyer

Get help from a lawyer to homologate your agreement at low cost

Homologation Assistance Service (Commission des services juridiques)


A mediator can help you reach an agreement with your ex-partner

If you and your ex-partner don’t agree to the changes, you can ask a mediator for assistance. The mediator will guide the discussions and try to help you reach an agreement.

The government’s family mediation program offers a certain number of free family mediation hours.


The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.

New on JuridiQC!

Joint Divorce Help Tool

Free and easy to use, JuridiQC’s help tool assists married couples who don’t have children together as they prepare their joint divorce application. From filling out documents to filing them at the courthouse, we provide step-by-step guidance.