Resources for families and the law

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Police Beat with Const. Tom Wood

The Amherst Police Department would like to highlight an important website that was launched in 2012. The website was designed to offer information and resources about family law.

Family Law Nova Scotia ( was a result of collaboration between the Department of Justice, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, the Department of Community Services, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and other community agencies.

Family law includes matters of separation, divorce, custody and access, child protection, and spousal/child support all of which can be a source of anxiety for those involved. Divorce and family breakdowns account for over one third of all family law cases in Canada, almost half of which are active for more than a year. The complex issues relating to awarding access and child/spousal support often result in long-term court involvement.

This website has been designed to alleviate some of the stressors of the family court system and to provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Police agencies are often contacted to assist with child and custody disputes. Many disputes cannot be fully resolved by police attendance. Police involvement is often limited to keeping the peace and referring the matter back to family court.

It is common for police to get involved in family breakdowns when family or domestic violence is involved and the process for obtaining help can often be confusing. This resource uses common language making it easier to understand.

This website provides detailed information on some of the common questions about family court cases including:

• How to obtain legal advice;

• Initiating court applications

• Child custody and access

• Emergency Applications and Orders

• Settlement conferences

• Supervised access and exchanges;

• Service of subpoenas and completing affidavits

• Costs and fees associated to court proceedings

• Legal rights for grandparents in these custody disputes.

This information would be helpful for anyone involved in the family court process. Educating people about family law

issues and ensuring that people understand their rights will alleviate the stress often associated with dealing such problems.


Const. Tom Wood is the community policing officer for the Amherst Police Department. His crime prevention column appears bi-weekly in the Amherst News.



Organizations: Amherst Police Department, Department of Justice, Community Services Amherst News

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada

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