A Guide to Getting a Divorce in Nova Scotia

Who should use this Guide?


This guide is for you if:

  • you are applying for a divorce in Nova Scotia,

  • you do not have a lawyer, and

  • you are doing your own divorce paperwork.

You can only apply for a divorce in Nova Scotia if:

  • you are legally married,

  • the marriage has broken down

  • there is no possibility of reconciliation (there is no chance of getting back together), and

  • you or your spouse has lived in Nova Scotia for at least one year right before applying for a divorce. This means that your principal residence, or your spouse’s principal residence, was in Nova Scotia for the past 12 months at the time you file for a divorce.

You do not need to be a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident to apply for a divorce in Canada.

You do not need to have been married in Canada to apply for a divorce in Canada.

The court does not provide a “legal separation”. Separation is based on facts. Separation can happen when two people who are married to each other no longer consider themselves to be together as a couple.

Common law couples cannot get a divorce. A judge will only give a Divorce Order if a married person applies to court to end their marriage. If you are not married, this guide does not apply to you. For information about separation for common law couples, click here.

At the end of the divorce, the court will issue a Divorce Order (along with a Corollary Relief Order in most cases) and a Divorce Certificate. You need a Divorce Certificate to confirm that you are no longer married and that you are able to remarry.

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