There are 3 ways to start a divorce in Nova Scotia:
1. Petition for Divorce– this method is generally used if the divorce will likely be contested, you are unable or unwilling to contact your spouse to try to get an agreement, or your spouse will not agree to sign documents for the divorce. Petitions are filed in 2 'parts' as the other party has to be served with notice, and has an opportunity to contest the divorce.
2. Joint Application for Divorce– spouses apply together for a divorce. Can only be filed if both spouses agree on all issues, including parenting, child support, spousal support, and property division. Can only be based on one year's separation, and documents can only be filed after the one year has run out.
For Joint Application documents: click here
3. Application for Divorce by Written Agreement– only one spouse would apply for the divorce, but both spouses must sign documents agreeing to the divorce. Can only be filed if both spouses agree on all issues, including parenting, child support, spousal support, and property division. When based on one year’s separation, documents can only be filed after the one year separation period has run out.
For Application for Divorce by Written Agreement documents: click here
You can also use the Divorce Guide.
For a checklist to ensure your divorce forms are in the right format and free of errors, click here.
Court staff and lawyers may use these notes to help parties ensure their forms are in the correct format.
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.
How do I use the interactive online forms?
These forms have information bubbles that will guide you through the forms and tell you what information is required from you. To view these bubbles, make sure you download and save the form to your computer or USB stick. Once downloaded, hover your computer mouse over any coloured lines or check-boxes and the information applicable to that line or check-box should pop-up in a small square. These squares will not appear on your printed forms.
When you’ve completed your forms, print them off on plain, white, letter-sized (8.5” x 11”) paper. Do not double-side the pages. You must bring the printed copies of your forms into the appropriate court for filing – you cannot submit your forms online.
You will usually need to file several copies of each of your forms. Check with court staff as to how many copies they require you to file. If you photocopy your forms at the court, there may be a fee for this. Do not double-side your photocopies.