If you or your spouse has started a court proceeding related to a family law matter, you will both be required to attend a Mandatory Information Program (MIP) prior to taking any further steps in the court process. In this post, we will discuss what the MIP is, and what you should expect to gain from attending.
MIP - What is it?
The MIP provides information related to the family court system, local community resources, and various options outside of the court system that are available to couples that are separating. The MIP will also go over the legal issues related to custody and access, child/spousal support, property division, net family property, and the matrimonial home. Parties are obligated to attend this session unless their case is exempt. You must attend the MIP before your first court appearance, with some exceptions for urgent and emergency motions.
Will my ex be at my MIP?
No. MIPs are scheduled such that you and your ex attend separate sessions. There is always a chance that your ex could show up at your scheduled MIP, and in that event, you should notify whoever is running the session and inform them.
What happens if I can't attend/missed my scheduled MIP?
In the event that you cannot attend the MIP you have been scheduled for, you should contact the scheduling office at the number located on your MIP notice and reschedule it for a time that is more convenient.
When is a MIP not required?
Can I attend a MIP even if I haven't started a court proceeding?
Yes. The MIP sessions provide useful information regarding the separation/divorce process regardless of whether you are going to court. You can contact the family mediation and information service provider in your area to arrange to attend a MIP.
I am unable to attend the courthouse for my MIP, are there any on-line alternatives?
Yes. Legal Aid Ontario offers a free on-line resource called the Family Law Information Program (FLIP). The FLIP content is based on the same information and can in some cases be used an alternative to a MIP. However, you must first obtain a Judge's permission. Like the MIP, you can also access the FLIP if you are not in court.