frequently asked questions
Handle Your Legal Disputes Yourself - Pro Se
CAN’T I GET THE SAME PAPERS ONLINE OR AT AN OFFICE PRODUCTS COMPANY?
Many forms for Florida courts are slightly different than other states and it can cause frustration for a customer to use the supposedly labor-saving pages provided online. There are times it can make things worse for the customer/pro se litigant if the forms and formats provided by the site or store aren't 100% correct for the Florida system. The customer may be required to refile a state-approved form to replace the incorrect one.
LEGAL DOCUMENTS PREPARED ON A BUDGET
Document preparation services are not the same as attorney services, nor are they meant to be. Document preparation fees are much lower than attorneys’ fees, because legal document preparers do not offer legal advice, and do not provide representation. Document preparation fees for things like divorce, powers of attorney and a will or living trust can be as little as 10% of what consumers would expect to pay an attorney to prepare these same documents. Many actions use Florida Supreme Court Family Law forms.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE DIVORCE/CUSTODY/CHILD SUPPORT PAPERWORK HAS BEEN SERVED
By law, you are supposed to receive notification from your ex-to-be, but that doesn’t happen often. I show you how to find the information at the Clerk of Court website for yourself.
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?
Each service has a different timeline, and the answer depends on which documents will be prepared.
I HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS. CAN YOU HELP?
No. We are a document preparation company, not a law firm. None of us are lawyers, and we’re not qualified to give you legal advice about your decision to have us prepare your case for filing in a self-represented manner. There is publicly available information. If you have questions that can’t be answered there, you are encouraged to consult with a licensed Florida attorney who is experienced in that area.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY? HOW DO I KNOW YOU WILL PREPARE EVERYTHING I NEED?
Whether you hire an attorney is entirely up to you. We have access to the documents expected for each of the services we provide. If we don’t, we will tell you immediately. Many legal document preparers are former paralegals with years of experience working for law firms. Florida court procedure is confusing, but most document preparers are well aware of the minutiae of timelines, formats, and court rules. Customers always remain in control of their legal actions. It is up to the customer, the pro se litigant, to educate him/herself about the issues and to construct his own strategy. Having control of the case strategy allows the self-represented litigant to be more agile in making compromises, and by being in control may be able to avoid long drawn-out litigation.
WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT HIPAA LAWS AND HOW DO THEY AFFECT MY MEDICAL SITUATION?
These make sure that your health information is protected in a way that does not interfere with your health care, allowing your information to be used and shared when necessary.
Your health information cannot be used or shared without your written permission unless this law specifically allows it. The Privacy Rule sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information.
RESPONSES TO CUSTOMER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS?
Legal document preparers are generally excellent communicators and are happy to keep their customers informed about their work. Many document preparers teach their customers how to check their case docket, and deal with the court clerk.
The pro se litigant is a customer to the legal document preparer – a
valued customer. The level of customer services offered by legal document preparers includes easy access to the document preparer. Most document preparers operate solo or have a very small staff, so the customer almost always communicates with the same person preparing the documents.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM APPOINTMENTS WITH YOU?
1 – [Get Started] first meeting
2 – [Learn More] go over all details, making extensive notes
3 – [Make Payment … minimum half down] assign any ‘homework’ for extra details
4 – Draft of documents prepared
5 – Review draft with the customer for accuracy
6 - Prepare final documents
7 – Get signatures
8 – More possible, depending on service being done.