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Go to your Mandatory Information Program

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 your partner started your case.

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.

A MIP 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 MIP 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.

Ask for a special arrangement

If you or any of your witnesses need an interpreter or any special arrangement because of a disability, you can ask for this at any stage in the court process.

You can speak with any staff member at court about what you need or you can contact the Accessibility Coordinator at the court where your case, motion, or trial is being held. More information on how Ontario’s courts can be more accessible is available on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website.

Update your continuing record

Rule 9: Continuing Record tells you what a continuing record is and what documents you put into it.

The continuing record has every document you and your partner want the court to look at. It’s is kept in the court file at the courthouse.

The continuing record has 2 parts:

  1. The endorsement volume has all the endorsements and court orders a judge makes in your case.
  2. The documents volume has all the documents filed in your case by you and your partner. This includes Applications, Answers, Replies, affidavits of service, financial statements, motions, affidavits, and trial management conference briefs. It does not include the case conference brief or the settlement conference brief.
  3. If you’re the applicant, you start the continuing record and keep adding your documents to it. If you don’t have a lawyer, court staff can help you start it and help you add your documents to it.

    If you’re the respondent you add your documents to the continuing record your partner started. If you don’t have a lawyer, court staff can help you add your documents to it.

    When you add a document to the continuing record, you also have to update the table of contents by listing each document you’re filing.

    Make sure you keep a copy of every document you and your partner fill out. This allows you to keep track of your case yourself. You won’t have to go to the court to ask the court clerk to get your court file if you need to check something. More information on the continuing record can be found in the Ministry of Attorney General’s A Guide to Family Procedures, Part 5: Filing Documents.