Monday, May 20, 2024

Family Court Self Help Program

Woman and man look and point at open book

The Family Court Self Help Program (SHP) originated in 1994 through a coalition between the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and the Dade County Bar Association’s Legal Aid Society in response to a need to increase access to the court for self-represented litigants (SRLs) involved in family court matters. The Program’s mission is to provide specialized service to SRLs involved in the family court process by providing the proper forms and instructions to streamline their case, reduce confusion and eliminate delays.

In accordance with limits set by the Supreme Court of Florida, the SHP can assist the public with the following services:

  • Initial intake with a front counter specialist
  • Online chat services that provide the SRL with information on the type of forms packet needed
  • Orientation and familiarization of the forms included in the packets so that the SRLs can complete the forms at their convenience
  • Workshops for SRLs needing additional assistance with the completion of the forms
  • Document review service to ensure that forms are inspected for completeness prior to filing with the Clerk of Courts
  • Concise instructions on court procedures and what next steps can be expected during this process
  • Connect parties to court partners who can assist with the next stages of the case

The SHP’s role is to provide procedural assistance to SRLs for them to present their case to the court and obtain a final hearing. The SHP does not give legal advice nor guarantee the outcome of the SRL’s case in court.

The SHP service fee varies from $25 to $65 depending on case type (see fee schedule). The service fee includes the following services: provide procedural assistance, initial review of pleading with a SHP Paralegal, notarization of pleadings and documents, follow-up visits to the SHP, case status information and assist SRLs in obtaining a court hearing.

If you are an SRL who is indigent and can provide proof of indigency, the SHP may be able to provide support services at a reduced cost, or in certain cases, have the costs completely waived. Please note that this Self-Help waiver is not related to any other Court or Clerk of Court fees.


Family Self Help Appointments (New)

The Eleventh Judicial Circuit’s Self-Help Program (SHP) now provides Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) the ability to schedule their Self-Help appointment online.

Schedule Appointment


Family Court Self Help Program Locations

For general information and scheduling on the Self Help Program please contact:

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
Address: 175 NW 1st Avenue Room 2441, Miami, Florida 33128
Telephone:(305) 349-7800
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday except for legal holidays
South Dade Justice Center
Address: 10710 SW 211th Street, Room 1400, Cutler Bay, FL 33189
Telephone:(305) 349-7800
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday except for legal holidays
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