The Mandatory Information Program – called the “MIP” – is a requirement parties to a family law case attend a two-hour information session at the courthouse a few weeks after their case begins.
A typical MIP session will be scheduled in the early evening at a courthouse. A group of one or two dozen parties to cases will gather to watch a legal presentation on a DVD. Then they will have the opportunity to ask some general questions about family law and procedure. At the end of the MIP, each participant will receive a certificate that proves that he or she has completed the MIP requirement.
The MIP session will cover topics like custody, access, child support, spousal support, family violence, divorce and legal aid.
The Legal Aid Ontario website features a Family Law Information Program which is very similar to an MIP session. Even before a case starts, reviewing this Program is a good way to start your family law research.
The dates for MIP sessions are fixed at the same time that the court clerk issues the Form 8 Application. The clerk will assign the Applicant and Respondent to different MIP session dates so that they can each ask questions at their own MIP sessions without the other party being there to hear them.
The clerk will then print up two MIP Notices, one for each party. The Applicant is responsible for serving the MIP Notice on the Respondent (along with all the other court papers that start the case like the Form 8 Application and the Financial Statement). The clerk may ask how long the Applicant will take to serve the court papers and then pick an date for the Respondent’s MIP session that falls a few weeks later.
Attending an MIP is not required for every type of case. But it is necessary for Applicants and Respondents in family law cases that start with a Form 8 Application. The court clerk who issues the Form 8 Application will decide whether an MIP is required.