A Guide to Registering an Order Made Under the Divorce Act

What This Guide is For

This guide is for registering a court order in Nova Scotia that was issued under the Canadian Divorce Act in a province or territory outside of Nova Scotia. This is often required before an application can be made to change (‘vary’) a divorce order from another province or territory. You may be applying to vary an issue like parenting arrangements (if the children live in Nova Scotia), child support, or spousal support.

  • For example, if you are now living in Nova Scotia, but you have a divorce order from another province or territory that addresses support issues and/or parenting arrangements, that order has to be legally recognized in Nova Scotia before you can apply to change it in the Nova Scotia courts. This type of order is often called a ‘corollary’ order, and will usually talk about what was decided in the divorce about arrangements for the children, support amounts, and how property or pensions were divided. To keep things simple, this guide refers to these orders as divorce orders.

In some cases, people become legally divorced, but their Divorce Act order does not address anything other than the divorce itself.

  • For example, two people may have divorced, and they have an order telling them they are divorced, but the order does not say anything about parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, or property division. If this is your situation, this guide probably does not apply to you. You may not need to register any previous orders, or you may have to file a different application entirely. Speak to a court staff member for more information, or talk to a lawyer for advice about what to do.


As with any court application, it is strongly recommended that you get legal advice. For information on ways to find a lawyer and get legal advice, including free or low-cost options, click here.

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