glossary

Glossary

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The Mandatory Information Program (MIP) is a program for partners who are separating or divorcing. It gives them information about:

  • family law issues
  • the family court process
  • how separation and divorce affects adults and children
  • ways to solve issues without going to court
  • local resources and programs

In most situations, both partners must attend an MIP before their court case can move forward. The MIP is available at all family court locations across Ontario.

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A marriage contract, sometimes called a domestic contract, is a written contract that partners can make that says how they will deal with their issues while they are married, at the end of the marriage, or if one of them dies. They can make this kind of contract before they marry if they plan to marry, or after getting married. For example, a marriage contract can say how much spousal support one partner will pay the other if they separate. It cannot say who will have custody or access to any children.

Title: married
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To be married or to have a marriage means that two people of the same or opposite sex had a marriage ceremony with someone that has the legal power to marry them. A marriage ends only by divorce, annulment, or the death of one of the partners. Being separated is not the same as being divorced.

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The matrimonial home is the property that was usually used by married partners as their family home at the time they separated. There can be more than one matrimonial home. Common-law partners cannot have a matrimonial home.

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A mediated agreement is an agreement that a landlord and a tenant make with the help of a Board mediator. It is a way to settle a case without the Board making the decision. A mediated agreement can give the landlord the right to ask the Board for an eviction order later without telling the tenant. It can also take away other rights that landlords and tenants cannot give up in any other way.

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A mediated agreement is an agreement that 2 parties make with the help of a third person called a mediator during mediation. If the parties make a mediated agreement on some or all of their issues, they do not need to have a hearing at a court or tribunal about the things they have agreed on. 

Title: mediation
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Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where people who don’t agree on something meet with someone called a mediator. The mediator is a neutral person trained to help people agree on their issues without taking sides. The mediator’s goal is to help them find a solution that they agree on. A mediator does not make decisions or force anyone to agree to anything.

A mediator is sometimes also called a facilitator.

Title: mediation
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In mediation, people who don’t agree on something meet with someone called a mediator. The mediator tries to help them find a solution that they agree on.

A mediator does not make decisions or force anyone to agree to anything. If people make an agreement after mediation, they either:

  • won't need to have a hearing at a court or tribunal, where a judge or adjudicator decides for them, or
  • will only need a hearing about the things they still don’t agree on.  
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Mediation is a way for you to resolve disputes using a third party. The mediator is neutral. This means that the mediator listens to both people and tries to help them find a solution that they agree on. With mediation, the third party helps both sides work together to resolve the dispute.

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Mediation-arbitration is a process that tries to solve your legal issues without going to court. It combines the alternative dispute resolution processes of mediation and arbitration.

First, you and your partner meet with a neutral mediator, who is trained to help you agree on your issues without taking sides. Then, if you haven't been able to reach an agreement with the mediator's help, a neutral arbitrator decides what should happen. An arbitrator's decision is called a family arbitration award.

You and your partner can decide if you want the same person to act as mediator and then, if necessary, as an arbitrator. Or, if you want different people to be the mediator and arbitrator.

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