Assisted Dispute Resolution (ADR) for ISO Files

You may be able to use a process called Assisted Dispute Resolution – or ‘ADR’ – instead of going to court for your Divorce Act ISO matter. The ADR process is conducted with a trained, impartial court officer who will work with you and the other party to help you negotiate and try to reach an agreement.

ISO applications involving Nova Scotia may be considered for ADR. The parties may be contacted by a Nova Scotia court officer if the application is appropriate for this process.

There are things you need to know before agreeing to an ADR process for a Divorce Act ISO application. This information sheet explains one of the complicated issues. 

Both parties must agree to use the ADR process. If either party does not agree, ADR will not be offered. 

The court officer will help the parties identify the issues, share information, assist with negotiation to resolve the issues, and help you finalize the terms of a court order. The court officer does not represent either party in the case. The court officer cannot force the parties to come to an agreement.

If you would like to try ADR for your ISO matter, first make sure you fill out and send in any documents you’ve been asked to complete, including the form called ‘Consent to Participate in Assisted Dispute Resolution.’

When you agree to participate in ADR for your ISO matter, you must participate in all scheduled meetings and keep in regular contact with the court officer. You must also provide any information or documents requested by the court officer or a judge. If you do not do these things, the ADR process can't continue.

It is always a good idea to get legal advice. If you are represented by a lawyer for your ISO matter, let the court officer know. Let your lawyer know if you are going through the ADR process.

If an agreement is reached through the ADR process, the court officer will prepare a consent order for the parties to review and sign. You will have a 10 day period to think about the draft order and get legal advice about the order during this time. If both parties are still in agreement with the order after this 10 day period, the consent order may be forwarded to a judge for review and issuance.

If you don’t reach an agreement through the ADR process, that’s ok. The matter will proceed as if you had not participated in the ADR process.

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