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Domestic Partnership

Who can make a domestic partners declaration?

Two persons who are living in a conjugal relationship who wish to form a domestic partnership may make the declaration. The parties can be of same or opposite sex. This declaration must be made in the prescribed form and witnessed by one or more persons. To file a declaration both parties must be:
  1. Over the age of majority (over 19 years of age);
  2. Ordinarily resident in Nova Scotia or own property in the province as of date of registration;
  3. Not married;
  4. Not in another domestic partnership.

Benefits of a Domestic Partnership

Filing a domestic partners declaration provides the partners with many of the same rights and obligations that married couples have under a number of Nova Scotia statutes. These statutes are defined in the Vital Statistics Act. Filing the declaration provides the parties with these benefits and obligations immediately, eliminating the requirement to meet the definition of common law spouse in some instances. For specific information regarding these rights and benefits, parties should consult their own legal counsel.

What documents are needed?

When registering a domestic partnership the following documents must be submitted:
  1. Proof of age for each of the parties (birth certificate, baptismal certificate, passport, drivers license).
  2. Proof of residency for each of the parties (health card, drivers license) or proof of ownership of real property in the province. "Residency" is defined as living in the province for at least three months.
  3. If either party is divorced, proof of divorce (certificate of divorce or decree absolute).
  4. If either party is widowed, proof of death (death certificate, funeral directors statement of death or obituary notice).
  5. A completed and signed declaration of domestic partnership, witnessed by one or more persons.
  6. For the applicable fee, please visit Vital Statistics Fees.

How a domestic partnership ends

The partnership ends at the earliest of the following events:
  1. parties live separate and apart for more than a year (one party may make an affidavit to that effect to register the termination with Vital Statistics).
  2. parties enter into a separation agreement pursuant to the Maintenance and Custody Act - parties must show proof of such an agreement in order to register the termination with Vital Statistics.
  3. parties file a Statement of Termination with Vital Statistics.
  4. one of the parties marries a third party.

Application Forms

Forms for registration are available from the Vital Statistics Office by mail, telephone or in person. You may download an application form to request a certificate or registration form, from the following links.