Usually, you have to go to a Mandatory Information Program (MIP) session before your court case can continue. You have to go within 45 days from when you started your case.
A MIP session is usually held at the court and is free. It is usually is an hour long if you don't have children, and 2 hours long if you have children.
A lawyer and a family or mental health professional speak at the session. In the first hour, they give basic information on:
- family law
- the court process
- the alternatives to court, such as mediation
In the second hour, they talk about family law that relates to children and how you can help your children cope as you and your partner separate. You also learn about community resources that can help you and your family through this process.
Check your court documents to see the date and time of your MIP. If you can't go to the MIP session contact your local Family Law Information Center located at the court and ask for another date.
Your partner also has to go to a MIP session but each of you goes to a separate one. If you see your partner at the one you're at, you should ask for one of you to go to a different MIP session.
If you need an interpreter or any special arrangement because of a disability, see Ask for a special arrangement below.
You don't have to go to a MIP session if:
- You only want a divorce and nothing else.
- You and your partner agree on what you want the court to order.
- You've already been to a MIP session.
- You want to file a separation agreement with the court.
- You want to bring a motion to change a support order.
The court can give you permission to take Legal Aid Ontario's online Family Law Information Program (FLIP) instead of going to an in-person MIP session.
Once you've been to a MIP session or completed the online FLIP, you get a certificate of completion. You must add this certificate to the continuing record, and update the table of contents. See Update your continuing record below to learn how to add documents to your court file.