NS Family Law new & improved website!
In Episode 7 host Kiara Gibbons chats with Natasha Matthews, Coordinator, Policy & Compliance, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Court Services, about the April 1 2022 launch of the refreshed, renewed and improved NS family law information website: nsfamilylaw.ca Listen to learn about some of the new features of the site & easier ways to find family law information, and then check out the new nsfamilylaw.ca site!
Family law resources mentioned in this episode:
To contact nsfamilylaw.ca
- nsfamilylaw.ca website survey
- Social media: @nsfamilylaw
- Contact Us page on nsfamilylaw.ca
- [email protected]
Other resources talked about in the episode
- Family Law Information Centres at the Supreme Court Family Division in Halifax and Sydney. Visit nsfamilylaw.ca for more information
- Courts of Nova Scotia
- Getting legal advice
If you cannot pay a lawyer:
Nova Scotia Legal Aid
Family law Summary Advice Counsel
A lawyer you would pay:
- your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may provide referrals to lawyers
- Lawyer Referral Service (Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia)
- Nova Scotia Barristers' Society online directory of lawyers in Nova Scotia
- Other ways to find a lawyer
- For help in French:
- Email the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia anytime at [email protected]
- Call the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia's Legal Information Telephone Line on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons at 902-455-3135 or 1-800-665-9779
Nova Scotia Legal Aid, family law services & COVID-19
In Episode 5 Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer Paul Stordy talks about Nova Scotia Legal Aid's services, challenges and changes in family law services resulting from COVID-19, and gives tips for child-focused parenting during COVID-19 and beyond.
In Episode 6 hosts Meg and Kiara continue their talk with Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer Paul Stordy, covering: child or spousal support and steps to consider if the payor's income is reduced for reasons beyond their control, such as due to COVID-19; COVID-19's impact on the divorce process; and options and support for people experiencing intimate partner violence. Meg and Kiara wrap up by reflecting on their chat with Paul, the general impact of COVID-19 on family law, what resonated with them, and some wise words from Meg's mom!
Understanding recent changes to Canada's Divorce Act
Lawyer Shelley Hounsell-Gray, Q.C. talks about changes to Canada's Divorce Act that became law on March 1, 2021.
In Episode 3 Shelley covers who the Divorce Act applies to, new parenting language, best interest factors, the impact of family violence, and new duties for parents, legal advisers and courts.
In Episode 4 Shelley covers alternative dispute resolution, including settlement conferences with a judge, moves that significantly affect the child's relationship with the other parent (relocations), and highlights of key practical changes to the law.
Family Law Basics
LISNS Legal Information Counsellor Nicholas LeBlanc talks about family law basics, including parenting language and where to start to get family law help
Find Family Law Information & Help
Can't find what you're looking for? Go to:
More legal information about family law in Nova Scotia
- Contact us by telephone (Legal Information Line), email, or live chat to connect with a legal information counsellor and get free family law information
- Nova Scotia Legal Aid offers family law live chat on its website on Tuesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm
- Justice Canada Family Law Information
- The Court Services Division of Nova Scotia's Department of Justice operates Family Law Information Centres at the Supreme Court-Family Division in both Halifax and Sydney. Visit nsfamilylaw.ca for more information
- A website called CANLII offers free access to Canadian laws and court decisions. You can also find Nova Scotia laws on the Nova Scotia legislature website - nslegislature.ca and court information and procedures on the Nova Scotia Court website - www.courts.ns.ca
- Francophone Nova Scotians can get help from l'Association des juristes d'expression française de la Nouvelle-Écosse.
To find a lawyer who does family law, you can
- ask a friend or family member for a referral
- contact your local Nova Scotia Legal Aid office at: http://www.nslegalaid.ca/contact.php
- contact law firms in your community that do family law
- contact your Employee Assistance Program or union if you have one
- go to nsfamilylaw.ca - the page on getting legal advice
- contact a women's centre and ask if they can suggest a referral
- go to Lawyers and Legal Help for more ways to find a lawyer.
If you cannot pay a lawyer
Your lawyer may accept alternate billing arrangements, or may be willing to just work on part of your case.
If you have no extra money, but you and your spouse own property, such as a home, investments, or RRSPs, some lawyers may agree to be paid at the end of your case, when you receive your share of the family property.
Also, some lawyers may consider helping you with just part of your legal issue - for example, preparing an affidavit or examining a witness in court. This is sometimes called providing 'unbundled' or "Limited Scope Retainer" legal services. Go here for more information about how lawyers charge for their work.
You may qualify for Nova Scotia Legal Aid.
Contact your local Nova Scotia Legal Aid office for information about Legal Aid's services: nslegalaid.ca/legal-aid-offices/, and ways to apply for Nova Scotia Legal Aid: http://www.nslegalaid.ca/apply.php . You can also apply for Legal Aid online: nslegalaid.ca/onlineapplication.php. Check your local directory for the addresses and telephone numbers of legal aid offices across Nova Scotia, listed under 'Legal Aid' in the white pages and government section of the telephone book, or visit Nova Scotia Legal Aid's website at: www.nslegalaid.ca
Summary Advice Lawyer for Family Law issues.
You can make an appointment to meet with a Nova Scotia Legal Aid Summary Advice Lawyer at the court. You do not have to qualify for Nova Scotia Legal Aid to use this service. The Summary Advice Lawyers provide brief, basic legal advice free of charge. Go to nsfamilylaw.ca/services/getting-legal-advice-finding-lawyer for contact information.
You can represent yourself.
You can represent yourself.
If you decide to represent yourself, you should still ask a lawyer to review the forms before you file them with the court, if possible.
Meghan Luft and Kiara Gibbons, Dalhousie Schulich School of Law students
Nicholas LeBlanc, Legal Information Counsellor, Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia
Shelley Hounsell-Gray, Q.C., lawyer
Paul Stordy, Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer
Natasha Matthews, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Court Services, Coordinator, Policy & Compliance
Thank you to Justice Canada for funding support for our family law podcasts.
LawLISNS are short legal information podcasts presented by the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS - pronounced 'listens'). LawLISNS talk about everyday legal problems in Nova Scotia, your rights and responsibilities, and ways to work things out.