Mandatory Information Program (MIP), Explained

• by David Frenkel

Mandatory Information Program (MIP), Explained

In most family law cases, before taking any steps in court, litigants are required to complete the Mandatory Information Program (the “MIP”): a free 2-hour session aimed at providing litigants with general information about family law and the family court system. Typically, the first hour involves providing basic information on family law in general, court procedures, as well as alternatives to litigation (i.e., mediation, collaborative family law, etc.). The second hour will typically involve providing information related to children and community resources that are available to help families through the stressful process of family law disputes.

The following will outline important information you should know about the MIP and what to expect when you attend one.

  1. Are you Required to Attend a MIP?

    Chances are, yes. In almost every situation, family law litigants will be required to complete the MIP. Only under some exceptions may a family law litigant avoid this requirement. The following situations do not require you to attend a MIP:

    1. If you and your spouse are consenting on an order being requested (i.e., a simple divorce);
    2. If you are seeking only: a divorce, costs, or an order incorporating terms from a prior order or agreement;
    3. If you have already completed a MIP in the past;
    4. If you wish to file a separation agreement with the court;
    5. If you wish to bring a motion to change a support order.

    In every other situation, particularly where there is contention on an issue, you will be required to attend and complete a MIP.

  2. When and where is the MIP?

    The date and time for your scheduled MIP will be provided by the clerk to the Applicant in a matter after they submit their application with the court. As the respondent in a matter, you would be provided the date and time for your MIP when the Applicant serves you with the documents. If you do not know when your MIP is scheduled, you are encouraged to contact a Family Law Information Center to ensure there is a MIP scheduled for you.

    Depending on your location, you may be able to attend your MIP virtually, known as a Family Law Information Program (a.k.a. the FLIP). If you are unsure as to whether you can attend virtually, you are encouraged to contact a Family Mediation and Information Service provider.

  3. Accommodations and Changes

    Whether you require accommodations for a disability or an interpreter during the session, you can contact the Accessibility Coordinator of the court where your MIP session will be conducted for assistance. Also, you and your partner are not supposed to attend the same MIP session. In for whatever reason, you notice your partner at your MIP session, you should request a different session. To change your MIP session’s date and time, you can contact your Family Law Information Centre.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about your scheduled MIP or FLIP session, or if you require legal advice or assistance on your family law matter, the staff at Frenkel Tobin LLP can assist you. You can email us at or call us at 416-363-4273 to speak with someone today..