What is the Appalachian Family Law Information Center?
The Appalachian Family Law Information Center (FLIC) was developed to assist people who wish to represent themselves in domestic legal matters or educate themselves about domestic issues. Services are provided to those individuals who are financially unable to obtain the services of a private attorney. No legal advice or representation by staff will be given. The staff will only provide general, instructional information and documents available to file an court action.
What are the costs of the services for the Appalachian Family Law Information Center?
The services of the Appalachian Family Law Information Center are provided to individuals based on a financial need. In order to receive services from the Appalachian Family Law Information Center, you must qualify financially. Eligibility for the program is determined based on information obtained from an application which each individual seeking services is required to fill out. Should you qualify for our services, the services of the Appalachian Family Law Information Center are free.
In the event it is determined that you do not financially qualify for our services, some of the packets of information may be purchased from the Clerk of Superior Court or the Family Law Information Center.
Am I able to speak with an attorney regarding my Family Law matters?
The Appalachian Family Law Information Center has attorneys on staff who are not able to provide legal advice or representation, but by appointment can provide basic guidance with paperowork. This service is available only to individuals who do not currently have legal counsel and meet other criteria. Limited assistance and information may be provided to anyone even if the opposing party has received information or guidance from the Appalachian Family Law Information Center.
What if the forms and packets of information are not enough to help us resolve our legal issues?
The Family Law Information Center is designed to be of assistance in situations where parties are basically in agreement about what actions they want to take on their family law matters. In more complex situations, the assistance of a private attorney may be needed to resolve issues where the parties involved are not in agreement.
How do I represent myself in Court?
The Court is a very traditional and polite place. When you represent yourself in Court you are trying to persuade a judge or a jury that you are right. So, you must act, dress, and speak in a way that helps you with your case.
When you come to Court, dress as professionally as possible. This means clothes that are neat and clean. You should be clean and neatly groomed.
How you act is very important. You must be respectful to everyone in Court. This includes the judge, Court staff, the other party involved in your case, witnesses, and people in the hallways.
The Court has a very busy schedule, so you must be on time. If you are late, your case might get postponed. Make sure you bring all the documents you need for your court date.
The judge cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and when the other party is there. The judge's staff will help you any way they can with questions like when your hearing is scheduled or whether the judge has decided your case. But, staff cannot give you legal advice or recommendations on what you should do. Always be polite with judges and with Court staff, and be prepared to provide any information they request.
When you represent yourself in court, get legal advice from a lawyer ahead of time to make sure you are doing the right thing. Legal advice includes deciding what option is best for you.
In summary, always remember the four Ps: Professionalism, Punctuality, Politeness, and Preparation
Following these tips will go a long way toward helping you help yourself in Court.