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The FALDP Docket -- March2024
March 15, 2024

Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers

The FALDP Docket

Volume 14 Issue 3; March 2024

Stay up to date, and in the know. We publish this for the benefit of FALDP members, legal document preparers, and friends. Published monthly since May, 2010


We are excited to share that our Parenting Course has been re-approved by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), available in both English and Spanish. This milestone highlights our unwavering commitment to supporting families through their court processes.

Following the passing of our esteemed instructor Ruth, we faced the challenge of updating our course content and instructor information for DCF's review. Thankfully, Christine, with her extensive qualifications, stepped up to revitalize the course and now leads as the current instructor. Her dedication was pivotal in ensuring our course not only met but surpassed DCF's rigorous standards.

This achievement reaffirms FALDP's status as a trusted source for this vital resource, praised by consumers and pro se litigants alike for its invaluable support during divorce proceedings.

We are immensely grateful to Christine for her contributions and to all of you for your continuous support. Together, we keep making a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.

Membership Directory UPDATE: 📞Enhanced Member Directory Now Available:

Dear Members,

We are excited to announce significant updates to our Member Directory, making it easier than ever to connect with fellow members. Our directory, accessible through the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers (FALDP) website, now offers two convenient ways to search:

By County: Ideal for localized searches, allowing you to find members within specific counties. All Members: Provides a comprehensive list of all members. For pinpoint accuracy in finding a specific member, use the Control+F (Cmd+F for Mac users) function to search by name or other details. Getting Started: To begin exploring the updated directory, simply:

Log in to our website at: Navigate to FIND HELP > MEMBER DIRECTORY. Choose your preferred search method: By County or All Member Directory. These enhancements are part of our ongoing commitment to improve accessibility and foster connections within our community. We hope you find the updated directory useful for networking and collaboration.

Should you have any questions or need assistance navigating the new directory, please do not hesitate to reach out to our support team.

💐 Ruth's Memoir has been posted to the very first page of our website. If you have not done so, please take a moment to read and remember our beloved friend and mentor.💐


- Members who renew during EARLY RENEWAL for the month of MAY will pay $75.00 for membership.

- Members who renew during the month of JUNE will pay $85.00 for membership.


***Members who renew from July 1st on will have to pay the full $166.00 membership fee to have their membership reactivated.

Visit us online to learn more about FALDP membership: MEMBERSHIP You'll be glad you did!


ONLY $179!

Starting a business is not any one single thing or event. For many it is a labor of love, a lifelong dream in action. Thousands of moving parts working together to create a business, an organic entity built on dreams and tears. Sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frightening.

The thrill when something you create works. A sale went through, a customer gives praise, you reach a goal, you surpass a benchmark, and the realization that you own your time. You find out that the buck stops at you. You learn either hard or easy that running a business, especially a startup, is a lot of work … but oh so worth it.

We try to support our members in every way that we can. We offer online courses, most of which are subject matter courses. A few of our courses focus on building a business and sales. This course – FALDP Quick Start Guide – is not meant to replace any of our courses, but to enhance. We know that you want to see the cash flow back to you as quickly as possible and have created this Quick Start Guide to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. QUICK START GUIDE

Choose from 17 different online self-paced courses, varying in all different levels of experience in document preparation and areas of interest. Online Courses - Intro & Divorce Doc Prep

Avoid UPL! Course - REMINDER

Don't forget. If you haven't taken the Avoid UPL! Course since August 1 of 2023, you need to take it again. We require all members to take the Avoid UPL! Course each year. We add, or edit some content throughout the year, but make no effort to entertain members with all fresh and new information. We hope members will internalize the main points through repetition. In addition, you may discover something new that had not caught your attention before. We admit that some of the information seems trivial. Learn it anyway. Your goal is to Avoid UPL, you don't need to agree with all of the rules.

We literally designed this course to:


Zoom Meetings

Last Zoom Meeting: The Zoom Meeting held on Saturday February 24th focused on the "Why we should believe in ourselves as Doc Preparers" and was hosted by our director Christine Marinkovich . We discussed how Document preparers play a crucial role in ensuring that individuals have access to accurately completed legal documents, empowering them to navigate complex legal systems with confidence. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all members who participated in last month's Zoom meeting, your engagement and insights are invaluable to our collective success and the enhancement of our services.

Next Zoom Meeting: Our next Zoom Meeting is scheduled for March 23rd at 10:00 am EST and we will be hosted by our co-director Bruna De Assis. Effective marketing is vital for document preparers, as it helps to build awareness of your services, attract new clients, and establish your credibility in the competitive legal document preparation field. In our next meeting, we'll explore several marketing strategies, including digital marketing, community engagement, and partnerships with local businesses, to enhance our reach and impact in serving those in need of legal document preparation. Remember, our Saturday Zoom Meetings are one continuing education unit. We email invitations in advance of each Zoom Webinar to all members. We also post the invitation inside our private Facebook Group. After our meetings we post information related to the meeting inside the Members Only area.

Legal Advice v Legal Information

Sometimes it's hard for people to fully understand the differences between legal advice and legal information. Information is fact. Advice is telling someone what they should or should not do. Seems obvious enough.

However some general advice becomes not advice at all because it so general. For example, common knowledge advice. You should wear your seat belt while driving. Don't drink and drive. You should pay your income taxes on time. You should financially support your children. All of those statements are advice, and there are laws related to all of those statements, so does that mean those statements are “legal advice”, which is something that only a lawyer can give? >p>No, the very general nature of the advice, even though the subject is technically a legal matter, transforms these advisories into general advice.

But, it gets murky. I'm not an attorney. What if I said to a first time homeowner, you should apply for homestead exemption? Is that general advice? It's obvious to me, and common knowledge to me having lived in Florida most of my life and bought and sold more than one home. But what if the first time homeowner is not only a first timer, but also has recently moved to Florida? Is it legal advice?

Maybe. It might be better to send that person down to the county building to find out all about homestead exemption on his own.

I always identify myself to prospective customers as a legal document preparer. And, I then, explain that a legal document preparer can prepare legal documents, provide legal information, and explain procedure, but may not provide legal advice or representation. Although, most consumers say they understand, it still may not prevent them from asking legal questions which I cannot answer.

Legal document preparers may not select forms for their customers. But, many times the customer knows exactly what he wants to accomplish legally, but does not know the name of the form or process. For example, frequently an unwed father will call and tell me that the mother of his child will not allow him to see the child. Most of the time, the father is already paying child support. He is at the mercy of the mother's whims, and poor dad doesn't know why. So I tell him the name of the form.

The central form is called a Petition to Determine Paternity and Related Relief. And, I explain it in this way, “this is like a divorce but for parents who were never married and have a child together.” And I go on to explain that the purpose of the process is for him to receive a signed order from the court naming him as the legal father so that he will have just as much right to see the child as the mother. And this is exactly what happens, unless the mother proves that there was ongoing criminal activity in the household; child abuse or neglect; domestic violence in the parents' relationship; or some other reason that this father should not have paternal rights.

Reprinted from FALDP Blogspot aka Legal Sunshine

FALDP on Social Media and Beyond

Follow FALDP on Instagram. Our Instagram account is relatively new, and not a lot of followers. Help us solve that by following us and liking our posts.

Instagram - FALDP 2010 Please visit our FALDP Facebook Page We regularly post content and accept member submissions. Also, please like and follow.

And, we regularly create our explainer and marketing videos which first appear on our FALDP on YouTube channel FALDP members are permitted to share our video content to your site and social media. We only ask that you refrain from editing our videos, and be sure to provide proper attribution. And, don't forget to subscribe!



FALDP Private Facebook Group

About one third of our membership has joined the FALDP private Facebook group. We created it to make it easier to interact with each other. So far, people have given work referrals to one another; asked questions to the group; received help in locating a form; and discussed various issues. If you're working toward FALDP Certification, you earn one CEU just by joining the group. So, what are you waiting for? Look for the private group after going to the official FALDP Facebook page at FALDP,LLC on Facebook.

Spanish & English Parenting Course

Did you know that FALDP members can receive $3.00 for each referral to either version of the Parenting Course?

Prices are: $32.99 and $17.99 for low income. Here's the link directly to the Spanish version - spanish parenting course And here it is for the English version Parenting Course

Parental Education and Family Stabilization Course is mandatory for all divorcing couples who have children; and all people seeking a paternity action.

Don't have a site yet? Try Monarch Web Strategies

Horizon Research Network is one of our associated sites which includes our design services. We build business websites for FALDP members for only $150 - set up; and $100. per page; and includes your domain name and first month's hosting. And, have you seen our whiteboard videos online? We can create a custom whiteboard video to promote your business. Once built its yours to use in any of your advertising or promotions. Contact us for a custom quote.

Member's Announcements & Contributions

Have something to share?

We accept member's announcements and appreciate your contributions. If you have an announcement about your business, an expansion of services, moving your offices, or winning awards, please send us the information and we'll include it in our newsletter. Your announcement needs to be pertinent to your business. We are unable to include announcements about other trade associations, clubs or groups.

If you would like to write an article, editorial, opinion piece, or web page please let us know. We are always in need of fresh information and insights.

FALDP Contact Information:
Main number – (941)237-0951
Toll free - (800)515-0496
Email –

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