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America Family Law Center (AFLC) strives to help families with low-bono family law assistance. The goal is to help close the Justice Gap for low-income Americans. The organization seeks to make as many services as possible accessible for free to the public and provide greater access to justice to low-income Americans.
When America Family Law Center was founded, it was modeled using the same guiding principles that are fundamental to the American Bar Association (ABA) Standard for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid. America Family Law Center tracks closely with the ABA on limited-scope representation (see ABA Standard 3.4), legal advice (see ABA Standard 3.4-1 & 3.4-2), and assistance to pro-se or self-represented litigants (see ABA Standard 3.5) in family law matters and incorporates this with the effective use of technology (see ABA Standard 2.10).
The organization has had recent clients residing in all 50 states. With our advanced use of technology, we can provide services to people, regardless of location, from the comfort and privacy of their homes via phone and internet access.
America Family Law Center offers advanced services uniquely designed to assist pro-se or self-represented litigants involved in family law matters. These advanced services, commonly called Client Services, focus on resolving matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. Client Services are a defined scope of services geared to assisting those who do not receive free legal representation (e.g. free legal aid) and do not have the resources to hire a full-service attorney in a traditional manner. America Family Law Center desires to resolve as many situations as possible without litigation or court involvement.
America Family Law Center encourages those who qualify for and are granted access to free legal assistance from another legal aid organization or law firm to take advantage of that free assistance. America Family Law Center encourages those who have the money to hire a full-service attorney in a traditional manner to do so. America Family Law Center is here to assist those pro-se and self-represented litigants in family law cases who do not get free legal aid and cannot afford to pay a traditional full-service attorney thousands of dollars, those in the Justice Gap. See below for more details of what is and what is not provided with Client Services.
For Everyone – Free Family Law Assistance
America Family Law Center tries to make available, for free, to the public the following public services. Several of these are Texas-based resources as America Family Law Center originated in Texas, so many of its resources may be more mature in Texas than in other states. However, if you are in need of resources in other states, please contact us, and we will do whatever we can to help you.
- educational materials for parents and parenting,
- publications from the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Florida Bar, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Oklahoma Bar Association, State Bar of Arizona, Ohio Bar, Illinois State Bar Association, and others,
- legal aid services nationwide and legal aid organizations in specific states: Illinois Legal Aid Online, Florida Legal Aid, Texas Legal Aid, Ohio Legal Aid, Georgia Legal Aid, Iowa Legal Aid, Arizona Legal Aid, and others,
- facilitate access to resources such as TexasLawHelp.org, and PALawHelp.org
- get free legal answers if you are in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and others at ABA Free Legal Answers™,
- facilitate access to lawyers through ABA Find a Lawyer and the various lawyer referral services certified in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, and others,
- online chat with a lawyer,
- referrals to parenting programs and classes recognized by the courts,
- family law hotline (hotlines and clinics cannot give legal advice on a particular case, see ABA Standard for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid, Standard 3.6),
- legal clinics (hotlines and clinics cannot give legal advice on a specific case, see ABA Standard for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid, Standard 3.6),
- collaboration on parenting resources at the Texas Advocacy Project and elsewhere,
- facilitate access to divorce and single-parent resources,
- facilitate access to domestic violence resources,
- facilitate access to family support resources,
- assistance with serving divorce papers.
In addition to the public services listed above, America Family Law Center makes available, for a fee, to its clients the following Client Services. These services are subject to availability may not be available in some states based on the state where your case is, or will be, located. This changes over time, so please call us if you need assistance and we will be happy to see if we can help you.
- family law legal questions answered by knowledgeable, experienced attorneys
- work with an attorney to strategize your case, formulate plans, and understand what you can and cannot do
- unlimited phone consultations with attorneys knowledgeable in family law (subject to availability)
- attorneys can help you know your rights – as a custodial parent, non-custodial parent, grandparent, or caregiver
- learn what an attorney would advise you to do or not do in various situations
- professional team members to provide general information and help you with non-legal questions
- attorneys provide legal advice and legal services, while administrative and support services may be provided by non-attorneys under the general supervision or at the direction of attorneys
- assistance with comprehensive parenting plans to help identify parenting options that work for you
- assistance with a demand letter or notice that you can send to an opposing party
- preparation for mediation to help obtain the best possible outcome for you through an alternative dispute resolution process
- having your legal documents and forms reviewed by an attorney (it is recommended that you have an attorney review all legal documents and legal forms)
- help to understand what your existing court documents mean, what they require you to do, what they prohibit you from doing, your rights, and your obligations
- help to prepare for a day in court
- help to understand what a court hearing is about, how to prepare, and what you might expect
- learn how the family law courts and legal system function
- access to services and assistance specifically for pro-se or self-represented litigants
- 24×7 online access to administrative paperwork on file with AFLC (contracts, receipts, etc.)
- 24×7 online access to legal documents on file with AFLC (case papers, legal documents, etc.)
- learn how to have a person properly served; get referrals to 3rd party services to help get a person properly served
- learn how to file your documents; get referrals to 3rd party services to help file documents
- access to referrals of 3rd party investigative services
- all services from AFLC are provided by phone, text messaging, or online and accessible from the comfort of your home; no services are provided in person
Client Services fees, when applicable, will typically range from $50 to $600. Client Services typically covers an entire year with no additional fee to America Family Law Center. Client Services includes only those services provided by America Family Law Center; it does not include services provided by partners, affiliates, or others. Clients are not entitled to Client Services until all of the client’s fees to AFLC are “paid in full” and have no outstanding balance.
Client Services does not include: a guarantee, assurance, or representation of any particular outcome; an attorney going to court with clients; filing documents; payment of any filing fees; process of service; fees for a process of service; private investigations; fees for investigative services; drafting legal documents; responding to discovery requests; subpoenaing witnesses; performing depositions; and others. Client Services may include referrals to and discounts for some services that are not included in Client Services.
America Family Law Center’s staff attorneys and trained legal staff work with our clients to help get their case or situation resolved with the best possible outcome. Many situations can be resolved without a contested legal case. Most family law cases are resolved through mediation, agreement, or by default – most do not require a contested court trial for resolution. Outside attorneys are typically available for an additional fee when a client wants to engage such an attorney for a contested court hearing or otherwise (any fees for a 3rd party attorney are between the client and that attorney and do not involve AFLC). America Family Law Center does not prohibit or discourage its clients from hiring an attorney to represent them in their case, but any such engagement would be by and between the client and the attorney and would be entirely separate and apart from the Client Services provided by America Family Law Center.
Closing the Justice Gap
It is widely recognized that many people with family law-related matters do not have the financial means to hire an attorney or qualify to receive free (often taxpayer-paid) legal aid – referred to as the Justice Gap. America Family Law Center strives to help those in the Justice Gap by offering family law assistance. If a person has the means to hire an attorney traditionally, America Family Law Center encourages them to do so. If a person qualifies for and is able to receive free legal aid, America Family Law Center encourages them to take advantage of it. However, for those who have a family law-related matter, cannot afford an attorney, and do not receive legal aid, America Family Law Center may be able to help.