Mandatory Information Programs Protecting Your Family's Interests for Over 25 Years

Initiating Separation in Ontario Family Court

The Mandatory Information Program (MIP) & the Family Law Information Program (FLIP)

When you begin a proceeding in family court, you may be required to attend a Mandatory Information Program (MIP) session. The MIP is mandatory for parties who have any contested issues relating to separation and divorce, such as issues relating to custody, access, support, the matrimonial home, or net family property.

If your only claim is for divorce or costs, or if the matters are all proceeding on consent (which means that you and your spouse agree on everything), then a MIP session is not required. Otherwise, both parties in the family court proceeding must attend a MIP session.

What Is the MIP?

The MIP is intended as a first step for new Applicants and Respondents in family court. It is a two-hour session that provides attendees with information about the family court system and process, local community resources and programs, common issues facing family law litigants, alternatives to litigation, and the effects of separation and divorce on the parties and their children. In general, the MIP helps encourage parties to settle where possible.

The session usually takes place in the same court in which the Application was filed. Both spouses must attend their MIP sessions before the matter can come before a judge, but the parties do not attend the MIP session together—it is not a mediation session. You and your partner will be given separate MIP dates.

Scheduling your MIP Session

When the Applicant files the Application in court, the clerk will give the Applicant two notices: one indicating their MIP date and one for the Respondent indicating the Respondent’s MIP date. The Applicant must provide that MIP Notice to the Respondent. If you are the Respondent in your divorce proceeding and you are concerned for your safety because your partner knows your MIP date and location, you can reschedule your MIP session. You can also alert security at the courthouse.

Both parties must complete their MIP session within 45 days of the case being commenced.

To schedule or reschedule a MIP, call the Family Law Office of the applicable court. Note that it is possible to reschedule your MIP so that it takes place at a different courthouse, if there is a more convenient court location for you to attend. Phone numbers for the Family Law branches for courts in Ontario can be found by clicking here.

After you attend your MIP, the person who conducts the session will complete your certificate of attendance (found on the back of your notice). You must file it with the court as soon as possible, and at least 2 days before your first case conference.

The Family Law Information Program (FLIP)

The Family Law Information Program (FLIP) is an online information program, created by family law lawyers at Legal Aid Ontario, whose content is based on the MIP. It is an interactive online program, made up of both written text and audio files, available to all members of the public.

Like the MIP, the FLIP was designed to provide information on the legal and practical issues facing spouses whose relationship is breaking down, and to give an overview of the court system and options for dispute resolution. Any spouse facing issues relating to support, child custody, parenting arrangements, property division, or other related issues can find pertinent information in the FLIP.

The FLIP can also in some circumstances be used as an alternative to the MIP. With a judge’s permission, spouses can complete the FLIP online and obtain a certificate of completion rather than attend a MIP session in person.

Using the FLIP

The FLIP can be accessed from the Legal Aid Ontario homepage, where you will find a link at the bottom of the page titled “Family Law Information Program.”

The FLIP system has two options for completion. Those interested in accessing the material for their information can use the “Quick Read” option; those using the program as a substitute for the MIP session should select the “Certificate of Completion” option.

It will take approximately two hours to complete all the material, but users do not have to complete it all at once.

If you need guidance, advice, or representation at any stage of your separation or divorce, Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. is here to help. Call our Ontario family lawyers at (905) 581-7222 to learn more.

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    Andrew Feldstein

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    Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.

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    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

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    Jeff Hart

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    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

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    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
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    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
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    Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
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    Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.

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    Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.

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    Shazia Hafiji

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    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

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    Lucy D'Ercole

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    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
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    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
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