Family Court Case Management

SELF HELP CENTER
A Program of the Administrative Office of the Court

The Self Help Center staff is employed by the Court to assist the Family Law Judges by making sure that cases in which the petitioner is not represented by an attorney have met procedural requirements.  As in all matters involving legal issues, it is recommended that you obtain the services of a lawyer.  It is important for you to understand that the Court and Program staff does not represent you, YOU represent yourself. 

If you decide to proceed without a lawyer, the Self Help Center staff will:

  • Help you set a hearing with the Judge
  • Explain procedures
  • Inform you about additional court requirements
  • Review your file before scheduling a court event to insure the correct forms have been filed

The staff will not:

  • Give legal advice or explain your rights
  • Represent you in Court
  • Tell you what forms to file
  • Tell you how to present your case

Procedures

If you have decided to file a family law case without a lawyer, please follow these steps; 

  • The Self Help Center Staff may be reached at (352) 548-3781.  Appointments are available to answer procedural questions.  Our office is located on the fourth floor of the Family and Civil Justice Center, room 413. 
  • Complete the packet of forms in ink. Court staff cannot assist you in completing the forms.
  • Further instructions regarding filling procedures are addressed in the packet instructions. 
  • File your documents with the Clerk of the Court.  The Self Help Center Staff will monitor the progress of your case.

Forms and Packets

Individual Forms and packets are available from the Clerk of the Court on the 1st floor of the Alachua County Family and Civil Justice Center.  The packets include all the necessary forms needed to file your action and instructions.  Additional forms can be found on line at www.flcourts.org.

Please note: The Clerk of Court’s staff cannot tell you which packet to purchase or give any advice concerning what forms to file.

Packets are available for:

  • Dissolution of Marriage
  • Paternity
  • Modification of Child Custody/Visitation
  • Establish Visitation
  • Modification of Child Support/Termination of Child Support Enforcement
  • Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member
  • Name Change

Notice of Limitations

The personnel in the Self Help Center are not acting as your lawyer or providing legal advice.

Self Help Center personnel are not acting on behalf of the court or any judge.  The presiding judge in your case may require an amendment to a form or substitution of a different form.  The judge is not required to grant the relief requested in a form.

The personnel in the Self Help Center cannot tell you what your legal rights or remedies are, represent you in court, or tell you how to testify in court.

Self Help Center services are available to all persons without legal representation who are or will be parties to a family case.

The information that you give to and receive from Self Help Center personnel is not confidential and may be subject to disclosure at a later date.  If another person involved in your case seeks assistance from the Self Help Center, that person will be given the same level of assistance you received.

In all cases, it is best to consult with your own attorney, especially if your case presents significant issues regarding children, child support, alimony, retirement or pension benefits, assets, or liabilities.

Additional Information

Internet Access: Information on how to file for a divorce without an attorney in the State of Florida can be found at:  www.circuit8.org

Three Rivers Legal Services Inc.:

Contact this agency for assistance in filling out the forms and legal advice.

(352) 372-0519 or online at www.trls.org