First steps to take in the event of separation

Following a separation, you must take steps in order to update your personal file with Retraite Québec. This step makes it possible to offer each eligible parent his or her portion of Family Allowance payments, but also to avoid having to repay overpayments following a change in your family situation.

Family Allowance payments are made to only one person per family. In the case of shared custody, Family Allowance payments are paid to both parents at the same time.

Shared custody

We consider that a child is in shared custody when the child lives with each parent between 40% and 60% of the time each month. Each parent receives an amount equal to half of the amount the parent would have received if the child were not in shared custody.

Which situation applies to you?

Step 1 1

Do you share custody of the child or no longer have custody of the child following your separation?
Notify us by telephone.

If you have more than 60% of monthly custody time, complete step 2 only.

Étape 2

Make a change in your conjugal status 90 days after the separation.

Two options to file your application:

Étape 1

Verify your eligibility for Family Allowance.

Step 2

Apply for Family Allowance.

Two options to file your application:

The amount of your Family Allowance

Family Allowance payments are paid by Retraite Québec to provide assistance to families with dependent children under age 18. The measure includes the Family Allowance payment, the Supplement for the Purchase of School Supplies, the Supplement for Handicapped Children and the Supplement for Handicapped Children Requiring Exceptional Care.

The amount of Family Allowance varies from one family to another. It is calculated based on:

  • the number of children under age 18 who are living with you
  • the number of children in shared custody
  • your family income 
  • your conjugal status (with or without a spouse).

The Calculaide tool allows you to estimate the amount of Family Allowance you could receive following a change in your conjugal status or to changes to the child's custody. 

Other useful information proposes the When a couple separates guide This link will open in a new window..

The guide provides information on separation, divorce, family mediation and support payments. It also outlines the steps to take with government departments and agencies following a separation.

JuridiQC has a site on separation and divorce This link will open in a new window..

The website provides you with a resource directory of legal, psychological and financial professionals. You will also find a list of free or low-cost resources.

Check out the information gathered under 5 topics:

  • Home, property, money
  • Children
  • Adjusting to a separation
  • Mediation
  • Court proposes a table of benefits per family situation This link will open in a new window..

The table allows you to determine whether you are eligible for the Canada child benefit, the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit and the provincial and territorial programs. Do not forget to contact the Canada Revenue Agency to notify them of the change in conjugal status This link will open in a new window., because it has an impact on your taxes and family benefits.

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