There are three ways to apply for a divorce in Nova Scotia:

  1. Petition for Divorce:  There is no agreement — there are outstanding issues between you and your spouse that you cannot work out. 
  2. Joint Application for Divorce:  You and your spouse have an agreement on everything, and you are filing the paperwork together. 
  3. Application for Divorce by Written Agreement: You and your spouse have an agreement on everything, but only one of you is filing the paperwork. 

Go here for a Guide to Filing for Divorce in Nova Scotia.

A Petition for Divorce and an Application for Divorce by Written Agreement both require that the other spouse be personally served with the divorce documents.  Here is information about Personal Service.  A Joint Application for Divorce does not require personal service of the documents, as you are filing together.

The spouse who files a Petition for Divorce is called the petitioner. The other spouse is called the respondent. 

Spouses who apply for a Divorce by Written Agreement are called the applicant and respondent. 

Spouses who make a Joint Application for Divorce are both called applicants (applicant and co-applicant, or 'joint applicants').

You can apply for a divorce:

Last reviewed: April 2021
Reviewed for legal accuracy by: Lawyer Shelley Hounsell-Gray, QC

Thank you to Justice Canada for funding to help update our legal information on divorce.