The Alaska Court System's Family Law Self-Help Center

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  • 1. The Alaska Court System’s Family Law Self-Help Center Presented by Katherine Alteneder FLSHC Director
  • 2. The Family Law Self-Help Center
    • The Family Law Self-Help Center (FLSHC) is a free public service provided by the Alaska Court System(ACS) to self-represented people in family law cases.
    • The goal of the center is to:
      • Improve access to the courts
      • Help people better understand court procedures and legal requirements
      • Facilitate timely participation in cases by parties
  • 3. Why was the center was created?
    • Increasing numbers of self-represented litigants and
      • No access to clear and simple legal information (no practice books & only limited forms)
      • No lawyers exist in 37 of the 58 communities with court locations
    • ACS responded to the need by creating the FLSHC to provide information, education and referrals in domestic relations cases.
    • Director hired August 2001.
  • 4. Current FLSHC service areas
    • Comprehensive legal information
      • • Divorce • Paternity • Child Support
      • • Dissolution • Custody • Domestic Violence
    • Referral information only
      • • Adoption • Guardianship • Emancipation
      • • Change of Name • Powers of Attorney
  • 5. Current Staffing Pattern
    • 4 Facilitators
      • 3 general domestic relations (1 Spanish speaker)
      • 1 DV specialist (VAWA pilot)
      • Customer service court clerks trained into para – paralegals
    • 1 Attorney
      • The program director
  • 6. Upcoming Expansion
    • Expand web based information
      • Probate
      • Landlord Tenant
      • Small Claims
      • Appellate
      • General Civil
  • 7. FLSHC Services
    • Website
    • Toll-Free Statewide Telephonic Helpline
    • Workshops (Anchorage & Fairbanks)
    • Self-Help Workstations (Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Juneau, and Ketchikan)
    • Piloting specially tailored DV Facilitator (Anchorage)
  • 8. Website
    • www.state. ak .us/courts/ selfhelp . htm
      • Forms & Instructions
      • Filing for divorce or custody
      • Child Support
      • FAQs
      • Calculating Child Support
      • Glossary
      • Referral Information
  • 9. Telephonic Helpline
    • Staff give a caution and conduct a mini-intake to identify what the caller needs to do procedurally
      • Initiating action (such as complaint or motion)
      • Responsive action (such as answer or opposition)
      • Trial preparation (such as witness list or trial brief)
      • Post-judgment action
      • Child support calculation
    • Identify court and any local practices
    • Identify forms, instructions and follow-up assistance
      • By web, e-mail, fax, mail or over the telephone
    • Provide legal and non-legal referrals
    • Make plan for follow-up assistance
  • 10. Workshops
    • Anchorage
      • Mandatory Family Law Education Class for every self-represented party in a divorce or custody case
    • Fairbanks
      • 9-11 a.m. and Noon-3 p.m. walk-in assistance one Friday per month at the Fairbanks courthouse
  • 11. Self-Help Work Stations
    • Statewide project of ALSC and FLSHC
    • Located in Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Ketchikan and Juneau
    • Free public computer, printer and telephone
        • Unlimited internet access to allow public to access web based services, including the ability to e-mail saved legal documents
        • Targeted homepage designed to guide people to FLSHC, CSED, AlaskaLawHelp and other key sites
        • Loaded with Microsoft Word and Excel for public to create and edit documents
        • Access to the “A:” drive to save to own floppy
        • Connected to laser printer to print up to 20 pages per day
  • 12. DV Facilitator – VAWA funded
    • Facilitate development of visitation plan in protective order proceedings in Anchorage
      • Contact with both the petitioner and respondent
    • Develop protocols in protective order cases to facilitate the regular issuance of CS orders by masters
    • Provide legal and non-legal referrals
    • Assist customers in understanding the distinctions and interrelations between a protective order case and superior court case to help them move to the proper forum
  • 13. Questions & Wrap-Up
    • Thanks!
    • Questions?
    • Katherine Alteneder
    • Family Law Self-Help Center
    • 825 W. 4 th Ave.
    • Anchorage, AK 99524
    • 907-264-0484
    • 907-264-0865(fax)
    • [email_address]