Inventory of Government-Based Family Justice Services
Family Division Services - Assessments (Nova Scotia)
Type of service
Family Court Services
Judges of the Family Court and Family Division may order parenting assessments, Voice of the Child Reports, and psychological assessments when they need objective information about the child or family situations in a contested parenting, custody, or access matter.
The main objective of a parenting assessment is to provide the court with information or recommendations regarding how the needs of the child may best be met. To meet this objective, a professional assessor will meet with both parents. An assessor may also meet with the child, grandparents, childcare providers, teachers, etc, if appropriate. The assessors focus is on what is in the best interests of the child.
Psychological assessments include examining the behaviour of parties and/or children to identify the presence of any diagnosable condition or symptom of mental illness or defect. They may include diagnostic testing and other aspects of a parenting assessment, or Voice of the Child component.
Voice of the Child Reports provide information on the child’s views and preferences in a proceeding. It may form part of a larger written report.
Pilot or ongoing service
Nova Scotia Department of Justice
How to access this service
Judges of the Family Court, Supreme Court, or Supreme court (Family Division) presiding over an ongoing court matter may order that a parenting assessment be conducted.
Assessments may be ordered at all Family Division and Family Court sites throughout Nova Scotia.
[ Service(s) offered ]
Further information on assessments can be found at http://www.nsfamilylaw.ca/services/court/more/assessments.
Voice of the Child Guidelines are available at:
Frequently Asked Questions Information sheets relating to Voice of the Child Reports and preparing for them are available at:
Fees are based on income. See Regulations made under the Costs and Fees Act at: https://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/costfees.htm
Governing legislation/legislative authority
The Nova Scotia Judicature Act, RSNS 1989, c. 240
The Nova Scotia Parenting and Support Act, RSNS 1989, c. 160
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: http://www.gov.ns.ca/just/Court_Services/justice_centres.asp
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