How to change an agreement

When couples separate or divorce, they make an agreement to deal with any parenting, support, and property issues. But as time passes, circumstances change: children grow up, parents remarry and have other children, people change jobs or move. You may need to change your agreement to fit a new situation.

You can change all or part of an agreement by replacing it with a new agreement. If you do, each part of the previous agreement that's changed is considered revoked (no longer in effect). The rest of the agreement continues to be effective.

Agreements often contain a clause saying how any future changes to the agreement should be made. For example, your agreement might say that any changes must be in writing, signed, and witnessed. If your agreement has such a clause, you must follow any requirements it sets out.

The best way to change an agreement is to:

  1. Create a new electronic document in the format of your original agreement.
  2. At the top, type "This agreement amends the agreement made between [name] and [name] on [date]."
  3. Note which paragraphs in the older agreement your new paragraphs will replace (refer to the number and/or title of the paragraph).
  4. Add the paragraphs that describe the new arrangement or agreement (the changes).
  5. Note that the rest of the original agreement remains effective.
  6. Have both parties sign the agreement in front of a witness.
  7. Have the witness sign the agreement.
  8. Make sure the agreement is dated.

When to file your agreement with the court

If your original agreement is filed with either Provincial or Supreme Court, file your new agreement with the same court. If your original agreement isn't filed with the court, you don't need to file your new agreement. But if you want to enforce an agreement or apply to court to set it aside (cancel it), it must be filed with the court.

If you need help to change an agreement

If you're not sure about changing an agreement or you want help doing so, see Who can help you reach an agreement?

Tip: See our guide How to write your own separation agreement and our fact sheet Making an agreement after you separate for related information.

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