Despite efforts by courts, communities, and bar associations around the country, there remains a serious need for tools that provide self-represented litigants with easy access to the information and resources they require to appropriately navigate the court system. Technology is increasingly being leveraged in self-help solutions, and the concept of the litigant portal is at the core of this strategy.

Recent IAALS research on self-representation in family courts suggests that litigants would benefit greatly from having assistance navigating the court process. On June 9-10, 2016, at the University of Denver, IAALS brought together experts from around the country to explore how litigant portals and related online self-help solutions can be leveraged to better serve divorce and separation litigants who do not have lawyers to represent them.

IAALS and attendees translated the conversations on what a family court self-represented litigant needs from this technology into a detailed plan from which others can build and implement a portal and identify necessary requirements and services. IAALS intends for this June convening to be the beginning of a dialogue that will result in concrete, actionable steps for developing this technology solution.