Inventory of Government-Based Family Justice Services


Nova Scotia

Type of service
Support Establishment Services

Services offered
Conciliation (Court-based ADR)

Conciliation, also called court-based dispute resolution, is a process where both parties, either in separate meetings or together, meet with a conciliator who will help the parties to focus on their situation and consider the appropriate options for settlement available to them in their court case.
A conciliator is a trained court officer who helps the parties by:

  • sorting out what issues need to be resolved
  • making sure they both filed the necessary court documents
  • reducing conflict and helping them to negotiate a settlement of their issues without going to court
  • referring them to appropriate ways to have the case resolved if the matter cannot be settled in conciliation.

A conciliator cannot provide legal advice to either party, and cannot force the parties to agree on issues.
The conciliator helps the parties negotiate by:
  • identifying, facilitating and documenting areas of possible agreement, including the drafting of consent orders;
  • helping parties reach an agreement where possible and appropriate;
  • directing the matter to court, where immediate action is warranted; and
  • making interim orders for child support, where appropriate

The conciliator makes appropriate referrals to services like:
  • mediation
  • the Parent Information Program
  • the Family Law Information Program (FLIP)
  • Legal Aid / the Lawyer Referral Program;
  • the Nova Scotia Family Law website at
  • the Summary Advice Counsel service.

Pilot or ongoing service
Ongoing service

Department responsible
Nova Scotia Department of Justice

How to access this service
Attendance at conciliation is mandatory for certain applications. Conciliation begins after one of the parties files a court application.

Conciliation is offered in the Family Courts and Supreme Court Family Divisions across Nova Scotia.
[ Service(s) offered ]


For more information about conciliation in Nova Scotia, visit

No charge

Governing legislation/legislative authority

Contact person(s)
To access this service, contact the justice center which is responsible for the file. Contact information about the various justice centers in Nova Scotia may be found at:

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