Information on Child Support payments during the COVID-19 health emergency

The following is information released to help parents who are currently paying Child Support and find they need assistance due to employment changes as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency in the Northwest Territories. If you have any questions about the information posted, please follow the links or call the phone numbers provided.

I lost my job. What can I do about my child support payments?

You must either come to an agreement with the other parent, or get a court order to reduce the amount of child support you pay. You cannot just start paying less without first getting an agreement or court order.

If you are paying your child support through the Maintenance Enforcement Program, you will also need to give them a copy of any order or agreement reducing your child support payments. And after the pandemic ends, you will need to make a real effort to find similar or better work to the work you lost. You should not expect the agreement, or the order, to last forever.

How do I get an agreement to change my child support payments?

The fastest way to change child support is generally to agree with the other parent to reduce the child support payments. You should record your agreement with the other parent in a written document that is dated, signed by both of you, and witnessed by a third party.

You can find out how much child support you should be paying by using the free child support calculator provided by the federal government.

If you need help coming to an agreement, you can use the free Family Law Mediation Program by sending them an e-mail at, or by calling them toll-free at 1-866-217-8923.

We can’t agree. How do I get an order to change my child support obligations?

If you and the other parent cannot agree on changing the child support amount, you will need to get a court order. Getting a child support order is a complicated process, and you will likely need a lawyer to help you out. You can get legal help by:

  • Making an application for a free Legal Aid lawyer by sending an e-mail to the Legal Aid Commission at, or by calling them toll-free at 1-844-835-8050; OR
  • Getting free advice from the Outreach Legal Aid Clinic by e-mailing them at, or by calling them toll-free at 1-844-497-1319; OR
  • Calling the Law Society of the Northwest Territories’ Lawyer Referral Service at 1-867-873-3828 to find a private lawyer to represent you.
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