Self Help Plus from Patrick’s Point of View

Patrick came to the Self Help Plus Program through a recommendation from one of his friends who used the Self Help Plus Program to obtain a Dissolution of Marriage.  Patrick is a disabled man who has a difficult time reading and processing information.  Due to his disability, it would have been extremely difficult for him to complete his legal case on his own. I asked Patrick a some questions about his experience with Self Help Plus:

How did you hear about the Self Help Plus Program/How did you find us?

I was given your contact information from a friend who used your service.  He said you helped him do his divorce and helped make the process very simple.


What kind of legal help were you in need of?

I needed a Dissolution of Marriage.  My wife and I had been separated for almost two years and I needed to get this done.  I was worried about my wife accumulating debt and didn’t want to be responsible for anything she was doing.


Have you ever tried to do this on your own before?

I wanted to do this a year ago, but when I tried looking at the forms I didn’t have any idea what to do with them.  It’s hard for me to understand the questions and I didn’t know how to fill in the information.  I didn’t think I could do it by myself and thought I was stuck being married until my friend told me about you.


How did SHP help you?

Your program made it a lot easier on me to get the paperwork filled out.  My friend said you were very helpful and made everything much easier.  You made it easier on me.  If you didn’t help me, I would still be married today.

I don’t know how to thank you enough


What was the best part about the program?

The way you were always available to help me and answer my questions.  The court can be scary if you haven’t been there before.  I would not have been able to take all of my papers to all of the right places, but you helped me do that.    You helped me a lot.


Would you refer us to your friends or family?

Yes, I would.  If anyone asks me about getting a divorce, I will give them your number.


How has this made a difference in your life?

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I feel like I can move on with my life now and I don’t have to worry about being responsible for things my wife might be doing.  I feel free and I am thankful to you for that.  I don’t know how to thank you enough for all of your help.


The Self Help Plus Program has been a legal program of the King County Bar Association since 1982.  This program assists low-income, pro se clients who need assistance with uncontested Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, and Establishing Parenting Plan cases when paternity has been established.  Clients apply and are deemed eligible for services based on financial and case type eligibility.  What makes the Self Help Plus Program unique is we meet with the clients one-on-one and then draft all of their legal documents for them at no cost.  The SHP program staff then further assist clients by accompanying them to the courthouse and assisting them in filing their cases, registering for the court-required seminars and then attending a client’s final hearing at case end.  This program is dedicated to helping clients who face barrier issues which make accessing and maneuvering their way through the legal system difficult and often impossible.

Written By: Tanya Wanchena, Self Help Plus Program Manager


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