Getting or Changing Parenting Arrangements for a Child


The terms often used when making parenting arrangements for a child have changed.

Different terms are used depending on the law that applies to your circumstances and the child. Please see:


Parents are encouraged to work together to decide on the parenting arrangement that is in the best interests of their children.

Some parents hire a lawyer to help them negotiate an agreement or consent order with the other parent.  Some lawyers also do collaborative family law as a way to help parents work out an agreement. For more information please visit: http://www.collaborativefamilylawyers.ca

Some parents work with a mediator to help the parents reach an agreement or consent order that works for both of them. The mediator is neutral, follows the direction of the parents, and does not advocate for either of them. 

Other parents work with a spiritual leader, or elder from their community to decide what is best.

When parents are unable to agree to the parenting arrangements for their child they usually go to the nearest court for help. These issues are dealt with at the Supreme Court (Family Division) with locations across Nova Scotia. There are dispute resolution processes, other than a trial, available through the courts. This includes conciliation and judge led settlement conferences. Click here to read about family dispute resolution processes.

If your children do not live in Nova Scotia, you will have to contact the court where they are living to find out how to make an application there.

If you are addressing parenting arrangements as part of an ongoing (not yet final) divorce proceeding, you will deal with this issue wherever the divorce was filed. Once the divorce is finalized, and you apply to change your order for the parenting arrangements, you will likely have to make that application wherever the children are living at that time.

For more information about this topic, click here.

Family Dispute Resolution

For parenting court forms, click here.

It is always recommended you obtain legal advice.  Click here for information about legal support and advice options in Nova Scotia, including no- and low-cost services.

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