This page only gives legal information. It is not intended to replace legal advice from a lawyer.

The information on this page only applies to married spouses or registered domestic partners. The information here does not apply to common law couples. For information about common law relationships go to LISNS page on common law relationships, and nsfamilylaw.ca.

Nova Scotia’s Matrimonial Property Act sets out the law on how matrimonial property may be divided after married spouses or registered domestic partners separate.  The Matrimonial Property Act only applies to married spouses and registered domestic partners. It does not apply to common law couples.

Provincial laws about matrimonial property do not apply on federal First Nation reserves.  The federal Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (FHRMIRA) was passed to fill this gap.  A First Nation can choose to either follow the federal law, or can pass a Matrimonial Real Property law at any time and no longer have FHRMIRA apply. The following First Nation communities have passed their own local Matrimonial Real Property laws: Bear River First Nation, Millbrook First Nation, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Pictou Landing First Nation and Sipekne’katik, Membertou First Nation, We'koqma'q First Nation. The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq has a Matrimonial Real Property powerpoint presentation and a Mi'kmaw Matrimonial Real Property Guide for: Bear River, Millbrook, Paqtnkek, Pictou Landing and Sipekne’katik.

 Last reviewed: May 2022