Family Law Rules – Rule 8.1: Mandatory Information Program

Angela Princewill

November 14, 2015



8.1 (1) This rule applies to cases started after August 31, 2011 that deal with any of the following:

1. A claim for custody of or access to a child under the Divorce Act (Canada) or Part III of the Children’s Law Reform Act.

2. A claim respecting net family property under Part I of the Family Law Act.

3. A claim respecting a matrimonial home under Part II of the Family Law Act.

4. A claim for support under the Divorce Act (Canada) or Part III of the Family Law Act.

5. A restraining order under the Family Law Act or the Children’s Law Reform Act.

6. A motion to change a final order or agreement under rule 15, except motions that deal only with changing child or spousal support.  O. Reg. 383/11, s. 2 (1).


(2) Subrules (4) to (7) do not apply to,

(a) a person or agency referred to in subsection 33 (3) of the Family Law Act;

(b) the Director of the Family Responsibility Office;

(c) parties in cases that are proceeding on consent;

(d) parties in cases in which the only claims made are for a divorce, costs or the incorporation of the terms of an agreement or prior court order;

(d.1) parties to an application in which the only claims made in the application and any answer relate to a family arbitration, family arbitration agreement or family arbitration award, unless the court orders otherwise; or

(e) parties who have already attended a mandatory information program. O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3; O. Reg. 383/11, s. 2 (2); O. Reg. 388/12, s. 4.


(3) The program referred to in this rule shall provide parties to cases referred to in subrule (1) 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.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.


(4) Each party to a case shall attend the program no later than 45 days after the case is started.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.


(5) The applicant shall arrange his or her own appointment to attend the program, obtain an appointment for the respondent from the person who conducts the program, and serve notice of the respondent’s appointment with the application.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.


(6) The person who conducts the program shall provide for each party who attends a certificate of attendance, which shall be filed as soon as possible, and in any event not later than 2 p.m. on the second day before the day of the case conference, if one is scheduled.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.


(7) A party shall not take any step in the case before his or her certificate of attendance is filed, except that a respondent may serve and file an answer and a party may make an appointment for a case conference.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.


(8) The court may, on motion, order that any or all of subrules (4) to (7) do not apply to the party because of urgency or hardship or for some other reason in the interest of justice.  O. Reg. 89/04, s. 3.

(9) Revoked:  O. Reg. 561/07, s. 2.

If you need any help with family law matters, contact AP Family Law Firm in Scarborough, Pickering, Markham, and Toronto. You can call us at (905) 492-7662 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation.