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Serving Iowa Families Statewide

Official Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Family Law Cases


Family Law cases make up a significant percentage of the legal actions filed in American Courts at any given moment. Some studies show that more than half of the adult population in the U.S. are married. On the flip side, roughly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Given these facts, it’s no surprise that family cases contribute to a major part of court dockets across the United States.

Unfortunately, many of the family law cases involve one or more parties who are not represented by a licensed attorney. As a result, it is common for courts to provide self-help resources for self-represented family law litigants. Many self-represented parties do not have attorneys as a consequence of their financial condition or the belief that they cannot afford a lawyer. However, that doesn’t mean that proper legal advice can never reach them.

Opportunities such as self-help programs provided by state courts and pro bono legal services can help ensure you don’t go into court wholly lost and unprepared.

Basic Legal Information

The Iowa Judicial Branch website provides a plethora of resources for those who cannot afford full-services legal counsel for their family law case. Anyone can visit the official website to access necessary information when it comes to representing yourself before the family law courts.

For example, self-represented litigants can visit this FAQ page for answers to the most frequently asked questions about pro se litigation. Be mindful that the court staff and judges are prohibited from speaking with you directly and giving you legal advice about your case.

Official Court Forms

The court provides officially approved court forms for anyone to download online with instructions at no charge. Furthermore, Iowa courts have implemented an eFile system, so litigants don’t have to brave the lines and wait times on the courthouse’s footsteps to submit necessary forms and filings.

You can access court forms for some of the most commonly litigated and significant family law issues, such as:

Am I Good to Go?

Even if you cannot afford an attorney’s retainer, self-represented family law litigants should take advantage of pro bono legal services clinics if they qualify. Moreover, those who do not qualify for free legal services should still consult an attorney on a limited scope basis regarding important legal issues in their divorce case.

Many attorneys naturally like to help people and might be willing to provide reduced-cost, limited legal services for litigants with financial problems. Attorneys may be more than happy to review the forms you completed yourself for errors and legal sufficiency at a cost-effective and affordable rate. The value of obtaining whatever professional advice you can get to protect your legal rights is sometimes immeasurable.

Call the Hope Law Firm to Consult a Qualified Attorney Today

If you are a self-represented litigant, don’t take the chance of showing up to court unprepared. It is in your best interests to take advantage of the resources available to you. At the Hope Law Firm, our legal team is committed to helping you protect the legal rights and interests of you and your family.

Call us at (515) 305-2772 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.