Legal advisers must certify that they have complied with their legal duties.
Lawyers are legal advisers in Nova Scotia.
The Parenting and Support Act says legal advisors have a duty to talk with their client about:
other ways to resolve their family law issues without court (family dispute resolution processes) unless those options would not be appropriate.
The legal adviser must sign a certificate of compliance to confirm they have discussed these issues with the client.
More information on dispute resolution processes click here.
Legal advisers have the following duties:
Duty to discuss reconciliation
Duty to discuss and inform regarding family dispute resolution services and support
What does this mean?
1. Duty to discuss reconciliation
A legal advisor has a duty to advise a client of the parts of the Divorce Act or Parenting and Support Act that focus on reconciliation, unless it would clearly not be appropriate to do that. They must:
ask if the client believes reconciliation may be possible
tell the client about services in the community that may help the client and their spouse explore possible reconciliation.
In circumstances where there has been family violence, it may not be appropriate to discuss reconciliation.
Information about family violence, including all four types of family violence, may be found here.
2. Duty to discuss and inform
A legal adviser has a duty to:
encourage a client to try ways to resolve their family law issues without court (family dispute resolution processes), unless it would clearly not be appropriate to do that.
tell their clients about their duties as a person involved in a family law case, and
inform them of the family justice services that could help them to resolve their family law issues or to comply with an order or decision made under the Divorce Act.
Legal advisers must certify compliance with theses duties in the appropriate court form.
For more on this and where you must confirm your duties click here.