Class Blog Design Research

Common Problems of people in the civil legal system

Talking to the experts in the court system, we heard what some of the most wicked, common problems are for people — the common places that they fail in getting to a good resolution.

  • It’s very hard to finish a divorce case. Even if you get it started, and do many of the tasks, divorce’s don’t just “finish themselves” once a party starts them. The case can go in so many directions, depending on what your spouse does in response to your filing for divorce. In legal terms, this is about “finalizing case to judgment.”
  • When court experts try to tell people about the many possible ways to finish a divorce, it’s overwhelming for the person. There are so many possible outcomes and path, it’s like a fire hose of information.
  • Serving process is very hard. It’s a step that people have to do on their own, after they’ve left the Self Help Center and the assistance there. Completing the forms and following the procedure is very tough. There are so many requirements.
Class Blog Design Research

User situations in Self Help Centers

As we have been researching the status quo situation of the Self Help Centers, we’ve identified some common types of users. They are as follows.

People with their kids, stressed and overwhelmed. They either can’t get child care, or brought them hoping to use court child care, but couldn’t because of the age/potty-training requirements

People who are stressed, anxious, and overfilled with emotion because of the life problem they’re in.

People with mental health problems that affect their ability to focus and navigate in the court setting.

People with very limited English proficiency, who don’t feel comfortable with legal English procedures and paperwork.

People, especially children and youth, who are serving as navigators for an adult, who have a language issue or mental capacity issue, that keeps them from being able to navigate themselves.

These are not all the user types, but some of the ones with the most pressing needs that we saw at various Self Help Centers.