In certain situations, a person who lives outside of Nova Scotia but within Canada will receive a Request to Convert (Form 59.13B), along with other Nova Scotia court documents. This process started in March 2021 when changes to the Divorce Act came into effect.
These FAQs provide information about Nova Scotia’s Request to Convert Form and process for proceedings started in Nova Scotia.
If you live in Nova Scotia and have received documents about a “request to convert” from another province or territory, please contact the court in that province/territory for more information.
It is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your situation. For more information on how to find a lawyer or get legal advice in Nova Scotia, including free or low-cost advice, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
In Nova Scotia, a Request to Convert is a court form used by a respondent who lives outside of Nova Scotia but within Canada. The respondent uses this form to formally ask that an application to change (or vary) support made under the Divorce Act be converted into an interjurisdictional application. This process started in March 2021 when changes to the Divorce Act came into effect.
If the request is approved, the court hearing dealing with support will take place in the respondent’s home province instead of Nova Scotia. Therefore, the Request to Convert form is your written request to have the application to change (or vary) support heard in your home province, by converting it into an interjurisdictional application under the Divorce Act. A judge or court officer in Nova Scotia will decide whether to approve your request or not, depending on the circumstances. If you do not file the form or your request is denied, then the application will be heard in Nova Scotia.
For more information about the process for interjurisdictional support applications under the Divorce Act in your home province/territory, contact your local designated authority office or courthouse.
If you have received a Request to Convert (Form 59.13B), it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can look at your situation and give you advice about what to do. It is also helpful to read through the rest of these FAQs for background information. Keep in mind, these FAQs do not take the place of legal advice. Court staff cannot give you legal advice. For ways to get legal advice in Nova Scotia, click here. For ways to get legal advice from a lawyer in another province or territory, contact the local Law Society or Barristers Society.
You received the Request to Convert (Form 59.13B) because a court application, called a ‘Notice of Variation Application (“variation application”) has been filed in Nova Scotia and names you as the responding party.
In the variation application, the applicant:
asks to vary/change support (i.e. child support and/or spousal support) under the Divorce Act; and,
says that you live in a province or territory in Canada, but outside of Nova Scotia.
It depends. Check to see if you have also received a document called “Notice to Appear in Court”, “Notice of Hearing”, “Direction to Appear” or similar document setting out a court date and time for the variation application to be heard in Nova Scotia. If you are unsure whether a court date has been scheduled, your package will include documents with the name of a court officer and contact information on how to reach them. If you need more information on how to contact a court in Nova Scotia, click here.
Generally, an interjurisdictional application under the Divorce Act (or Divorce Act ISO application) is a paper-based application that is used when parties to a support application live in different provinces or territories in Canada. The interjurisdictional application is first filed where the applicant lives, then it is sent to the home province/territory where the responding party lives to be set down for a court hearing there. The responding party can then file responding documents with the court in their home province/territory. The Court Hearing is held in a court close to where the Respondent lives, not where the Applicant lives. Only the Respondent is required to appear at the hearing and the Court uses the information filed by the Applicant.
If you received a Request to Convert (Form 59.13B) and do not file it to ask for the variation application to be converted to an interjurisdictional application, the variation application will likely continue in Nova Scotia, you will be asked to file documents in Nova Scotia, and any court appearances will be held in Nova Scotia.
If you want to request to convert the support issue(s) into an interjurisdictional application, you must do so within 40 days from the date you received the variation application by doing all of the following:
complete the Request to Convert (Form 59.13B);
complete a Personal Representation Form (if you do not have a lawyer); and,
file the form(s) with the court in Nova Scotia. You can file forms by mail, courier, fax or email at the addresses listed on page 2 of the Request to Convert (Form 59.13B).
If you need more information on how to contact a court in Nova Scotia, click here.
If the variation application also asks to change parenting arrangements, only the portion of the variation application dealing with support issues can be converted if a judge approves. If you make a request to convert in this scenario, a judge will review your request as part of making the decision. Either way, parenting issues will not be converted and will continue in Nova Scotia, unless a judge orders otherwise.
It is important to keep your contact information with the court up to date so that court staff or the Reciprocity Office can communicate to you whether your request to convert has been approved. In some instances, a judge must approve the request and in others the conversion can be required under the Divorce Act.
If you do not receive any communication about your request, you can call the Nova Scotia court where you filed your documents.
Generally, unless you are asked by the court or the Reciprocity Office, you will not need to do anything. The variation application you filed will be forwarded to the Reciprocity Office to be sent to the respondent’s home province/territory.
While you are not required to attend the court hearing in the other province/territory, if you would like to participate in the court hearing(s) by telephone or other technology, please send an email to the Reciprocity Service (firstname.lastname@example.org/902-424-0600) as soon as possible to let them know your request.
Keep in mind that even if you ask to participate in the hearing, the court in the respondent’s province/territory will decide if you are invited to participate or not. If you confirm you would like to participate, you must make yourself available to participate in all hearings.
If you have questions about the interjurisdictional application process going forward or would like to file additional information/evidence to accompany your variation application using ISO forms, contact the Reciprocity Service (email@example.com/902-424-0600) as soon as possible.
Legal Information: For more information about family law & the Divorce Act, please visit: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/index.html, and for more information on family law in Nova Scotia, please visit: www.nsfamilylaw.ca
Nova Scotia Reciprocity Office (Designated Authority) contact information:
Toll Free-: 1-844-424-0600 (outside metro Halifax)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 23, Halifax, NS B3J 2L4
Street Address: 1690 Hollis Street, 4th Floor, Halifax, NS B3J 3J9