ISO Information for Lawyers

ISO Update

ISO Case Management and ADR Services

Practical ISO Tips for Lawyers

Locating Respondents for ISO Applications

Contact the Reciprocity Office

ISO Forms


ISO Update


As of March 1, 2021, both the NS ISO Act and the Divorce Act provide for interjurisdictional support processes. The term ‘ISO’ refers to interjurisdictional support order processes in general.

The NS ISO Act is the provincial legislation used to establish, vary, and enforce child and spousal support orders where one party lives in Nova Scotia and the other party lives in another province/territory within Canada or a reciprocating jurisdiction outside of Canada. We refer to interjurisdictional applications under the NS ISO Act as ‘NS ISO’.

The Divorce Act allows for an interjurisdictional support process (IS) between former spouses pursuant to sections 18 through 19.1, referred to as ‘Divorce Act ISO’. You can read more about the changes to these sections in The Divorce Act Changes Explained document created by Justice Canada, as well as resources created for legal professionals.

While the NS ISO and the Divorce Act ISO processes are similar there are some important differences, such as there are no longer outgoing provisional applications under the Divorce Act to vary support and s. 19 of the Divorce Act only applies to incoming applications from reciprocating jurisdictions outside of Canada, not outgoing.

Effective March 1, 2021, new forms were designated for ISO matters.  These forms were developed by a national ISO Forms Committee and are being proposed for adoption by other provinces and territories. Some provinces have already adopted them. To access the new forms and guides to each form, click here.

Except for Form A, the ISO forms can be used for both NS ISO or Divorce Act ISO applications. The new ISO forms either update or are in addition to the old ISO forms. Some key changes include:

  • There are separate forms for applications made under Nova Scotia’s provincial Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (A.1 or A.2) and under the Divorce Act (A.3 or A.4)

  • The ISO-specific Affidavit may be used for applications made under either legislation to provide additional or clarifying evidence to support the application or response.

  • Some provinces now offer Administrative establishment and variation services for cases where the parties live in different provinces within Canadas an alternative to a court hearing where: the application is eligible for the service, and the designated authority of the province determines it is suitable for the service. To learn more about provinces/territories offering this service, click here.

  • There is a specific section in Forms A.1-4 which asks whether a government or government agency may need to be informed of and/or participate in the application. Applicants are asked to indicate if they are receiving or received income/social assistance in the past, as well as whether the Respondent is or was in receipt of income assistance.

  • In general, there are clearer instructions on which forms are needed and how to complete them, including better directions on necessary attachments to include with the forms.

  • The Additional Locate Information Form is to be completed to assist in locating a respondent in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

For practical tips on completing ISO Forms, click here.


ISO Case Management and ADR Services


Since 2015, the NS Department of Justice, Court Services, has been offering ADR Services on ISO files.  A NS Court Officer provides both parties with a copy of the ISO application and an invitation to attorn to NS for the purposes of ADR only.  Most often, this happens concurrent to sending the application to court so that case processing timelines are not affected.  Any request for information or amendments to existing documents are made as part of this process. Parties are always encouraged to get legal advice. Both parties must agree to participate in ADR process which is meant to assist with information sharing, clarifying positions and more fulsome disclosure. Where agreement is reached, the NS Court Officer will draft the order to be issued by a NS judge, without the parties having to attend in court.

In 2017, an external evaluator examined this initiative and found that these efforts:

  • improved access to justice for families by providing an alternative to traditional litigation

  • reduced case processing times

  • promoted problem solving

  • lead to earlier finalization of proceedings

  • lead to more responsive court orders 

  • resulted in improved communication between reciprocating jurisdictions

  • resulted in better collaboration and co-operation 

Although the data set was small and the pilot not fully mature, preliminary findings include:

  • a 46% reduction in the amount of time required for final orders to be obtained for outgoing files

  • of the 58 incoming files, 51 were deemed appropriate for ADR (88%).  In 18 of those cases (35%), both parties consented to ADR.  Of those, 11 reached full agreement (61%). Another reached partial agreement and two others had consent orders drafted.  Of the original 58 files, nearly one quarter (24%) were either diverted from the court process or had court involvement significantly reduced.

  • of the 56 outgoing files, 49 were deemed appropriate for ADR (88%). In 19 of those cases (39%), both parties consented to ADR. Of those, 5 reached full agreement (26%), and 6 were discontinued or had consent orders drafted.  Of the original 56 files, 20% were diverted from the court process.

If a party is filing an ISO application and would like to participate in ADR, they can include this request in a cover letter filing the application. The Reciprocity Clerk will advise if this service is available for that particular case.


Practical ISO Tips for Lawyers


Tip # 1: Ensure that the application should be proceeding under sections 18.1, 19 or 19.1 of the Divorce Act or the NS ISO Act. Look for other clues which signal potential procedural or jurisdictional issues, such as 'Interim' or 'Provisional' Orders. Similarly, inform yourself of the nuances between the NS ISO and Divorce Act ISO processes. There may be more than one process option available to a party, depending on their circumstances. For instance, not all parties who are divorced in Canada have orders for corollary relief. If no corollary relief proceeding is outstanding in a divorce granted in Canada, then parties may have the option to apply for support by way of originating corollary relief under the Divorce Act (e.g. ss. 15.1/15.2), by Divorce Act ISO (e.g. s. 18.1), or NS ISO.

Tip #2: In relation to NS ISO applications, inform yourself about the forms and legal process followed in Quebec and reciprocating jurisdictions outside of Canada. For example, outgoing applications under the NS ISO Act involving a Quebec or UK respondent will require a provisional hearing process. Quebec matters may require additional or alternate forms. Matters under the NS ISO Act involving a respondent in the Pacific Ocean region, including Australia and New Zealand, require special forms. You may contact the Reciprocity Office for more information.

Tip # 3: Sworn documents should be notarized to ensure their acceptability as evidence in the proceeding. Affix your notary seal.

Tip #4: Ensure that documents are legible if hand-written. Typed documents are always best.

Tip #5: Party signatures should be made in blue ink, with the party’s name clearly written or typed. Avoid delay - many jurisdictions will reject documents which do not meet this requirement.

Tip #6: Claim details are required. This includes details such as support amount, requested support (order) start date or requested variation start date.  Failure to complete these sections will usually result in delay and a request for the documents to be amended.

Tip #7:  Courts require some evidence of income amount to order child support. A request to impute income must be accompanied by information to support the income amount suggested and a completed Form D. Statistics Canada produces labour market information, including salaries and job market trend statistics, specific to occupation and location, which may be helpful. You may attach information printouts to Form D.

Tip #8:  Disclosure is critical to application success and timeliness, especially when dealing with another jurisdiction. Disclosure must cover the time frame addressed in the application and for a minimum of the 3 most recent tax years and year-to-date in the current year. If a document is not included, state why and provide the best alternate proof available.

Tip #9: Include 3 certified copies of the order(s) being varied with your application. Certified copies of the registered order are acceptable if the order has been registered in NS.

Tip #10:  Avoid possible requests for further information from the recipient court by anticipating the other party’s legal and factual arguments. Consider filing documents with your application which will address these issues. Use the ISO Affidavit form to provide factual information in addition to completing the necessary Forms (e.g. you may wish to consider addressing DBS and/or Colucci case issues in an ISO affidavit).

Tip # 11: Be aware that information contained in an application, including a party’s contact information, will be included in the package provided to the other party in the other jurisdiction, will form part of the court file, and MAY be available to the general public. See the Guides for more information on how a party may keep their contact information confidential.

Tip # 12: Counsel may assist the parties in an ISO matter by providing information about the ADR process to augment the public legal education information the parties will receive, by explaining disclosure and filing requirements and by providing ongoing legal advice. It is helpful for the applicant to indicate their interest in participating in ADR in a covering letter accompanying their application as this will speed up the process, although both parties may be contacted in any event. The lawyer should also indicate what ongoing role they wish to play in the process (e.g. to receive copies of letters, copies of draft orders, disclosure demands etc.).

Tip #13:  Justice Canada has online training available for  legal professionals on interjurisdictional support proceedings under the Divorce Act. See also Justice Canada’s publications “Divorce Act Changes Explained” Part 1 and Part 2.

Tip #14: Is your client looking to register a support order or enforce a support order made outside of Nova Scotia? Click here for more information.


Locating Respondents for ISO applications


Locating Respondents in NS

Trace and locate provisions in the NS ISO Act enable the NS Reciprocity Clerk to search for respondent addresses. The Reciprocity Clerk may make a written demand for contact information from some Nova Scotia public bodies to assist in locating a respondent in Nova Scotia. Information obtained through such a search will not be shared but the reciprocating jurisdiction will be advised whether the respondent is believed in Nova Scotia.  Locate requests are for ISO applications only and they cannot be used for parenting or other applications.

Locating Respondents living outside Nova Scotia

The NS Reciprocity Clerk may be able make a formal request to certain jurisdictions to determine whether the respondent is believed to be residing in that location.  Not all Canadian jurisdictions have trace and locate provisions in legislation or, if they do, there may be certain prerequisites before a request will be considered. The NS Reciprocity Clerk requires the Additional Locate Form in order to initiate a request to locate a respondent on behalf of a Nova Scotia applicant. 


Contact the Reciprocity Office

If you have questions, you can find our contact information HERE.


ISO Forms:




Support Guide

Introduction and General Information Guide





Support Application made under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form A.1


Support Variation Application made under the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form A.2


Interjurisdictional Support Application under the Divorce Act

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form A.3


Interjurisdictional Support Variation Application under the Divorce Act

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form A.4



Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form B


Child Support Claim

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form C


Request for Support Order (if Respondent does not provide financial information)

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form D


Request for Child Support Different than Child Support Table Amount

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form E


Special or Extraordinary Expense Claim

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form F


Request to Pay Child Support Different than Child Support Table Amount

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form G


Support for Claimant/Applicant

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form H


Financial Information

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form I


Child Status and Financial Statement

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form J


Evidence to Support a Variation of a Support Order

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form K


Respondent’s Response to Application

Download PDF 

Download Word 

Guide for Form L

ISO Affidavit

Download PDF 

Download Word 


Additional Locate Information Form

 Download PDF 

 Download Word 


* If the respondent resides in Québec, additional forms are required which can be found online at: Reciprocal enforcement of a support order following a Canadian divorce | Gouvernement du Québec ( Please contact the Reciprocity Office at with questions.

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