The Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) recently released a Resource Guide for court-based self-help programs.
Developed through an SJI Grant (SJI-12-P-086), this guide is intended to facilitate and support cooperation and coordination between the state courts and state Title IV-D child support agencies (IV-D agencies) to provide self-help services to parents and others who are navigating the child support process. The guide discusses the provision of federal resources and rulings that facilitate this process, and makes a case for how self-help models at the state court level can promote access to justice and further the goals of fairness and understanding during court proceedings.
The guide provides details on how state courts may use Title IV-D child support funding to provide self-help services to self-represented litigants, including those involved in the following types of activities:
- Paternity establishment;
- Child support establishment;
- Child support modification; and,
- Enforcement processes.
The guide offers details regarding five program areas impacted directly by the court’s processes that IV-D agencies are responsible for reporting metrics on, and are utilized in the configuration of payment. Furthermore, it delineates impacts and concerns state courts may face when establishing additional self-help services. A roadmap for developing a model cooperative agreement and relationship with IV-D agencies is also provided.
More information on the SRLN and its work can be found on the SRLN website.