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What is the Mandatory Information Program in my family court case?
In most cases, you and your partner have to go to a Mandatory Information Program (MIP) session as the first step in your court case. The MIP gives you information about separation and divorce and the legal process. It is usually held at the courthouse.
There are Family Law Rules that tell you what is needed at every step in a court case. Rule 8.1 Mandatory information program says that you have to go to a MIP within 45 days from when your case was started.
A MIP session is usually 1 hour long if you don't have children, and 2 hours long if you have children.
In the first hour a lawyer and a family or mental health professional provide basic information on:
- family law
- the court process
- the alternatives to court, such as mediation
In the second hour, they talk about family law that relates to children and how you can help your children cope as you and your partner separate. You also learn about community resources that can help you and your family through this process.
You do not have to go to a MIP session if:
- You only want a divorce and nothing else.
- You and your partner agree on what you want the court to order.
- You've already been to a MIP session.
- You want to file a separation agreement with the court.
- You want to bring a motion to change a support order.
There is no cost for the Mandatory Information Program.