ISO Act Amendment

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The Nova Scotia Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (ISO Act) is the law that governs the process used for getting and changing child support or spousal support orders involving Nova Scotians and parties who live in other jurisdictions, where provincial or territorial laws (not the federal Divorce Act) are being applied. It also provides a process for registering a support order in Nova Scotia for the purposes of enforcement when the order has been made in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

A reciprocating jurisdiction is a province, state or country that – like Nova Scotia – has agreed to use the ISO Act, harmonizing processes and respecting each other’s law.

Nova Scotia’s ISO Act was introduced in 2003. The recent amendment clarifies that notice of a court hearing occurring in Nova Scotia is not required to be given to an applicant living outside Nova Scotia.

‘Notice’ means giving information about things like any court dates set and documents filed by the respondent.

This amendment does not change the way that ISO applications are processed in Nova Scotia. In the past, applicants living outside Nova Scotia were not usually given notice of the court hearing taking place in Nova Scotia. Previously, the ISO Act did not expressly deal with the issue of notice. The amendment has filled this gap.

The amendment does not mean that notice cannot be given to an applicant. Rather, the amendment clarifies that notice is not necessary. This has always been the case with ISO applications. Notice may be given in some circumstances, like if this is directed by a judge.

This amendment was made in order for the Nova Scotia ISO Act to comply with a decision made by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal (the ‘Waterman decision’), where the court indicated that unless the legislation indicated otherwise, notice of an ISO hearing was to be given to the out of province applicant.

For more information about ISO, click here.