This is something new in Windsor and many other parts of Ontario which involves the Mandatory Information Program (MIP). This rule has been in effect in Toronto for many years and more recently in Brampton and Milton. As of September 2011, this rule has gone province-wide.
It involves a two-hour mandatory information session that must be attended in all contested family cases, before you will be permitted to appear before a judge. The MIP is only an information session and does not replace any other court appearances. Your MIP session is in addition to any other steps in your case, including a first appearance date or case conference.
This rule applies if you are asking for something in addition to divorce (such as spousal support, child custody/access support, division of property, etc.). The requirement does not apply to:
• Joint divorces
• Cases that only ask for a divorce
• Cases that only request the incorporation of the terms of an agreement or prior court order
• Cases that only ask for costs or that ask only for a divorce and costs
According to Family Law Rule 8.1, the MIP provides participants with upfront information to help you make informed decisions about the next steps you take to resolve your family law case. This includes information about separation and the legal process, as well as information on topics such as,
(a) the options available for resolving differences, including alternatives to going to court, including mediation;
(b) the impact the separation of parents has on children; and
(c) resources available to deal with problems arising from separation.
All family clients are required to attend a MIP. This session would not be a mandatory session with your spouse. They would attend a session at a separate time.
MANDATORY INFORMATION PROGRAM (MIP)
For more information on the Mandatory Information Program please click here:
To learn about the family court process, please visit the Family Law page of the Ministry of the Attorney General website by clicking below:
You'll find a Guide to Procedure with list of court forms, an online tool to help you fill out the forms, and brochures and links to more information when you click here:
Windsor Essex Mediation Centre