Free information about Mandatory Information Sessions for divorces filed in Ontario

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Mandatory Information Program/Session in Ontario

You may have heard something about a requirement that in Ontario each party must attend a mandatory information program / session before filing for divorce. The requirement does NOT apply to 'simple' divorces. It only applies if you are asking for something in addition to divorce (such as spousal support, child custody/access support, division of property, etc.). It also does not apply to joint divorces. Also, it is not mandatory mediation nor do both spouses have to attend together.

According to Family Law Rule 8.1, the mandatory information program provides participants with information about separation and the legal process, and may include information on topics such as, (a) the options available for resolving differences, including alternatives to going to court; (b) the impact the separation of parents has on children; and (c) resources available to deal with problems arising from separation. It is not a mandatory mediation session with your spouse.

Again, you only have to attend the session if you are asking for something in addition to divorce, such as spousal support, child custody/access/support, division of property, equalization of net family property, etc. However, if it is a joint divorce, you do not have to attend.

If you are the one filing the divorce, your spouse would only have to attend a (separate) session if he or she contests your claims or makes his or her own claims. If your spouse does not contest the divorce and does not attend an information session, your claims may still proceed as ‘uncontested’. You won’t be prevented from getting a divorce simply because your spouse does not attend a session.
 

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Last updated on October 15, 2017