This information is for married couples who need to divide property after separation. This legal information does not replace legal advice from a lawyer. It only applies to married spouses and registered domestic partners, not to common-law couples. 

Common-law couples: The Matrimonial Property Act does not apply to common-law relationships. Go hereGo here for information about common-law relationships. You can also get information on common-law relationships at

Provincial law: Nova Scotia’s Matrimonial Property Act (law) covers how matrimonial property may be divided after married spouses or registered domestic partners separate. It does not apply to common law couples or First Nation reserves.

Federal First Nations law: Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (FHRMIRA) covers this area. A First Nation can choose to either follow the FHRMIRA or pass a Matrimonial Real Property law to replace it.

These First Nation communities have passed their own local Matrimonial Real Property laws: Bear River First Nation, Membertou First Nation, Millbrook First Nation, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation, Pictou Landing First Nation, Sipekne’katik, and 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