A new mobile app for Floridians is attempting to smooth out legal processes for low-income families. The idea is to improve access to necessary forms and instructions, while also offering additional helpful features designed to streamline the process and make family law matters easier for people to handle.
Is it really all it’s cracked up to be, though? Below, we’re going to go over what’s in the app – as well as what you can’t get without working with an experienced and knowledgeable Florida family lawyer.
The Features in the New App
Whether you are needing help with a divorce, paternity testing, adoption, or other family law matters, the new mobile app gives you access to almost 200 forms for filing petitions. It’s called Florida Courts Help, and it may serve as a helpful resource for poverty-stricken individuals who have access to a mobile device but not a desktop or laptop computer.
The app will provide them with basic forms for situations such as filing a protection order, making changes to a child custody arrangement, or establishing a legal guardian for a child. Here is a summary of items available both on the app and on the Florida State Courts System’s website.
- Dissolution of marriage
- Establishment of temporary support
- Establishment of alimony
- Establishment of child custody
- Modification for child support, parenting plans, or alimony
- Prevention for removing children from a household
- Relocation with children
- Appointment for guardianship
- Adoption for step-parents
- Paternity issues
- Protection orders
- Domestic abuse issues
What the App Can’t Do
Here’s the biggest problem. The website and app warn you that they do not act as your attorney, nor do they provide legal advice. They note that even if you submit a form correctly, a judge is not required to grant your request as stated in the form. They also strongly suggest that you consult with your own lawyer, especially if your case is complicated in nature.
In short, the app doesn’t really help you with the law so much as present it to you and wish you the best of luck. This is far cry from what you can get from working with an experienced attorney. Yes, the app has useful features, and the website has solid information. However, neither of those things can replace the knowledge and personal care a qualified family attorney can provide.
Simply put, the value of working with an experienced attorney cannot be understated.
Why You Should Consider an Affordable Attorney
In U.S. civil trials, over 75 percent of litigants do not have a lawyer. Even though the legal profession donates over $500 million annually in free legal help, a lack of funds prevented two million Americans from receiving legal aid last year.
We get it. That’s why our lawyers offer their services through Florida Family Law Clinic at a reduced rate intended to make the prospect of getting the legal help you need more attainable.
Why is it worth it to hire a family lawyer when the forms are out there for anyone to use? Many reasons.
Avoid mistakes. Navigating a complicated case on your own can cause costly mistakes. For example, an adoption can fall through unless all the legal procedures can be followed correctly.
Take emotion out of it. Family law cases are often emotionally charged and complicated due to various factors. Hiring an attorney can help you minimize the discord between you and other family members, since a mediator will be handling your case. Instead of making decisions based on emotion, we can make sure that facts and evidence are used to come up with the most beneficial solution.
Fair and balanced. In a divorce case, we can help the proceedings move more smoothly and produce results that are fair and balanced between both spouses. In a case involving alimony payments, we can ensure fair settlements based on the details of your relationship and financial assets. After the divorce, we can help you negotiate new terms of agreement as needs arise.
Ongoing support in a variety of areas. If you have children in a divorce case, we can help you make modifications to your child support agreement, or we can help enforce payment from an irresponsible parent. In a time sharing parenting plan after divorce, we will discuss the broad range of options and make suggestions based on your rights. We can also help you seek the rights due to your child through a paternity lawsuit.
We are also able to help those who need to file protective orders against domestic violence. If you have been charged with violent crime, we can help you understand your legal options.
If you are a step-parent or foster parent who wishes to adopt, we can help with that. If you need to establish yourself as a legal guardian, we can guide you through the process.
No matter which family law issue you’re facing, or what comes up in the future, we will be there for you. Learn about your options by setting up a free initial consultation. Give us a call today.