PRESIDING JUDGE ERIC C. TAYLOR ANNOUNCES NEW ONLINE TOOLS FOR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS IN FAMILY LAW CASES

New Online Workshop for Divorce Cases and Fillable Forms for Divorce and Parentage Cases Add to the Court’s Convenient Self-Help Services

Self-represented litigants now have access to additional online tools to assist them in starting and concluding their Family Law cases, Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor announced today. The new online options expand the Court’s self-help solutions and remote services available for litigants to initiate and resolve their cases without attorneys.

“Access to justice for the thousands of self-represented litigants in our Family Law courts is among the Court’s top priorities,” Presiding Judge Taylor said. “These new self-help solutions offer individuals facing significant family disputes, such as divorce or parentage issues, with convenient and accessible options to learn how to navigate their cases without the assistance of counsel.”

An online Dissolution Orientation workshop is now available in the Court’s Self-Help catalog of services and is accessible at any time. This interactive, educational workshop guides litigants through relevant law and procedure before they start or respond to their marital dissolution (divorce) case. The workshop is divided into seven (7) short lessons that cover key topics including child custody, child support, spousal support, community, and separate property and the requirements for service of court documents. Litigants can view the workshop at their convenience without the need to schedule an appointment. Each lesson can be viewed independently, or a litigant can complete the entire workshop in one session.

Once litigants have completed the workshop, they may sign up for an additional self-help workshop for assistance with completing their documents to start their cases. In addition, litigants are given options to use online guided interviews to complete documents on their own.

“The pandemic reinforced for us the need to develop remote self-help assistance. Always on our to-do list, we moved it to the front burner,” Supervising Family Law Judge Lawrence P. Riff said. “With this new online workshop, litigants will be able to complete the Dissolution Orientation workshop at their convenience from the safety of their own home, without having to take time off from work or arrange for childcare. We are very excited to add this additional service to the array of existing self-help services available to litigants.”

The Family Law Division also recently added online fillable forms packets to the Court’s website to walk litigants, at their own pace, through the preparation of their judgment for contested judgments after trial in their divorce case. The packets cover divorce judgments with and without minor children. Additionally, the Court also now offers online fillable forms packets for parentage judgments.

This assistance is critical for self-represented litigants to resolve their cases. A divorce is not completed until the final judgment form is prepared, signed by a judicial officer, and entered into the Court’s docket. Preparation of the judgment has traditionally been a challenge for self-represented litigants even with support from the Court’s self-help organization and the joint effort between the Court and local bar associations on the new Judgment Assistance Day program.

Now, litigants are able to enter much of their information into a cover page, and that information is then transferred into the appropriate fields on the forms. This saves litigants from filling out repetitive information on each page in the packet.

“Too often litigants cannot get this last step done after their trial, which frustrates the whole point of bringing their Family Law case to closure,” Judge Riff said. “With these new resources, litigants have more options to start and finish their cases, move forward with their lives – all with the goal of bringing stability to struggling families all across Los Angeles County.”

NEW RESOURCES FOR SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS IN FAMILY LAW CASES:

The new Online Dissolution Workshop is available here.

The new Contested Judgement After Trial Fillable Forms Packets are available for divorce judgments here and for parentage judgments here.

More information on all of the Court’s self-help services is available here.

View the full notice here.

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