Glossary beginning with M

Maintenance

A term once used to describe money paid by a person for the living expenses of a spouse or child, under provincial laws. This is now called ‘support’ under both Federal and Provincial laws. See ‘Child support’ or ‘Spousal support.’

Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP)

MEP is a provincial government program through which all court orders for child support or spousal support must be filed (registered). When a support order is issued anywhere in Nova Scotia, a copy of the order is automatically sent to MEP.

Matrimonial home

Where married spouses lived before separation.

Matrimonial property

Or ‘matrimonial assets,’ refers to property obtained by either or both of the spouses before or during their marriage. There are some exceptions like gifts, inheritances, or business assets.

Mediation

A type of Assisted Dispute Resolution where a trained, impartial (‘neutral’) mediator helps the parties to reach agreements about family law issues like custody, access, child support, spousal support, and sometimes the division of property.  In mediation, the mediator will assist each person to talk about their needs and issues, and will help the parties negotiate to resolve the issues in appropriate cases.  

There is a mediation service available through some Family Court and through the Supreme Court (Family Division). Check with your local court to see if mediation is available through that court. Usually, you must have an active court application to be referred to mediation through the court. You can also hire a private mediator.

Minutes of Settlement

See ‘separation agreement’