As part of a larger effort to improve Nova Scotia’s ability to collect and pay court-ordered family support payments, the Department of Justice has reviewed the Maintenance Enforcement Act. The Department of Justice is considering a number of changes to the Act and is seeking your input on three of those changes:
The Nova Scotia Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (ISO Act) is the law that governs the process used for getting and changing child support or spousal support orders involving Nova Scotians and parties who live in other jurisdictions, where provincial or territorial laws (not the federal Divorce Act) are being applied. It also provides a process for registering a support order in Nova Scotia for the purposes of enforcement when the order has been made in a reciprocating jurisdiction.
The “What Happens Next” Calendar can help children keep track of the times they will spend with each parent, as well as other important dates throughout the year, if their parents separate or divorce. The calendar is available in English and French.
The calendar is a companion resource to the booklet ‘What happens next? Information for kids about separation and divorce’.
Click below to access the calendar:
Le Programme d'information pour les parents (PIP) s'adresse aux parties qui sont engagées dans des procédures judiciaires relatives à des questions parentales, afin de les aider à soutenir leurs enfants au cours de ce processus ainsi qu'à trouver et à appliquer des moyens pour éviter que les enfants ne se trouvent pris au centre du conflit. Le programme est obligatoire pour toute personne concernée par une demande de nature judiciaire qui implique des enfants, mais toute personne intéressée peut y participer volontairement.
The Parent Information Program (PIP) assists parties involved in a court proceeding addressing parenting issues to support their children during the process and to identify and practice ways to keep children from getting caught in the middle of the conflict. Those with a court application involving a child are required to attend PIP, and the program is also available to anyone wishing to take it on a voluntary basis. PIP can be completed in person, online, or both.
Amendments to the Maintenance and Custody Act, introduced November 24, 2015, will update language and terminology around custody and parenting arrangements, introduce new terms for interacting and spending time with a child, and by establishing the use of a parenting plan, help parents clarify their responsibilities.
The amendments will also introduce specific guidelines that families must follow when a parent or guardian wishes to move away with their children. The new Act will be called the Parenting and Support Act.
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has produced a resource for self-represented litigants to assist them with using CanLII - an online legal database. CanLII - or the 'Canadian Legal Information Institute' - is a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and aims to make Canadian law accessible for free on the Internet. CanLII provides online access to court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes, and regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions.
Voice of the child reports (also known as child’s wishes or preferences assessments) are one way to give children a chance to be heard in family law proceedings. They are written reports prepared by a professional who interviews the child. They are usually ordered by a judge. These reports give information about the child’s views and preferences around parenting issues.
Click here for more information on voice of the child reports, and how to prepare yourself and your children for one.
A new Free Legal Clinic is now offering advice and information, free of charge, to people who are appealing their family law matters (except child protection issues) to the Court of Appeal. The Clinic is located in the Halifax Law Courts on Upper Water Street. It is open one day a week, by appointment only.
For more information, click here.
Online applications guides are being developed to assist parties who are filing their own applications. These guides include background information and instruction, as well as forms links and links to other helpful resources. The newest of these guides is for Interjurisdictional Support Order applications - commonly referred to as 'ISO' applications.
ISO is the law that deals with the process used for getting and changing support orders involving Nova Scotians and parties who live in certain other jurisdictions. These other jurisdictions are called 'reciprocating jurisdictions.'