In Utah, any person can file online using Utah’s OCAP (Online Court Assistance Program).
We have a lot of people tell us, “I’m just going to use OCAP, but I don’t understand this paragraph.”
Or “We are filing using OCAP, but what does it mean to say I have joint physical custody?”
In other words, many people want to use OCAP because it is the cheapest easiest way to file for divorce and complete the process. However, OCAP does not answer legal questions. How are you going to get your questions answered?
We spend a significant amount of our time “fixing” terribly written divorce decrees that resulted from the client using OCAP without the advice of an attorney.
This is where one or two hours with an attorney can become very very valuable. We can walk through the OCAP process with you to make sure you fully fully understand what you are writing, or that you fully understand what your spouse has written.
This is not our usual full-representation service that requires a retainer, this is what we call self representation assistance. It allows you to represent yourself but have all of your questions fully answered before you sign and file. We often will write essential language for you to make sure that your wishes are included in the document, even if it’s not part of the court’s form. We will also assist you in writing letters to opposing counsel or parties to move things in the write direction.
The attorneys at Long Okura have spent countless hours in court, mediation, and legal education seminars focusing exclusively on family law in Utah. There is no reason why a person who needs help should feel that they have to figure out family law for themselves.
Compared with hiring a lawyer to fully litigate your case from beginning to end, paying for one or two hours of time is inexpensive and priceless. Most people simply do not have the legal background to recognize the many important affects of the language in the court’s online template or that many other important things are simply missing from the court’s online template.
And no one is there at OCAP to explain the significance of this information. As far as we know, we are the only firm in Utah that has specifically developed a process and program to help people who are filing for themselves.
With just one hour we are able to answer the questions you have. We can clarify the legal process you are facing in words, writing, or often times a simple diagram. Believe us when we say that you cannot “get by” with a vague unclear understanding of your divorce.
Many times people come to us too late. Final orders have been issued by the Court, and the orders are simply not workable. The client didn’t realize what the document really said in terms of each parties’ rights. Documents prepared without legal assistance often leave out important details that are not foreseeable to individuals who do not encounter these documents on a daily basis.
These clients could have saved themselves some money by paying for an hour or two of time to get the relevant legal advice before the process was finalized. Undoing and modifying orders is often more time consuming and expensive. If you get the orders done correctly once, it is less likely you will have to return to the court system again in the future.
Call our office today to set up a consultation to find out more about retaining an attorney in your case or using our Do-It-Yourself Assistance.