Required Steps for Divorcing Couples

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General now requires any spouses entering the family court process to attend a Mandatory Information Program (also known as a MIP) before filing for their divorce.

The MIP provides information about the legal process of separation and presents information on topics including:

  • the impact that separation can have on children;
  • the options available for resolving differences (including alter- natives to court); and
  • the resources available to deal with associated problems arising from

Here are some facts about MIP sessions:

  • It is an information session;
  • It is not mandatory mediation for spouses;
  • Spouses are not expected to attend sessions together;
  • These sessions are required for spouses who are asking for something in addition to divorce (for example: child custody, access or support, spousal support, division of property and/or equalization of  net  family property);
  • A spouse can have their claims proceed as “uncontested” if their partner does not attend the MIP or contests the divorce;
  • Spouses who contest a divorce must attend a separate MIP; and,
  • If one spouse does not attend a MIP, a divorce can still be granted.

After attending the Mandatory Information Program or session, the spouses can file their divorce application and proceed to court along the traditional route. The parties also have the option of reaching a negotiated settlement or accessing court available mediation services.