Online Legal Forms
The Internet has made it easy to get all kinds of legal forms for all kinds of legal issues.
If you are thinking about buying an online form, you should first understand whether Iowa law recognizes it. You should also know how to properly fill it out. Even if the cost seems low, it is a bad deal to end up paying for an incorrect legal form that doesn’t really solve your problem.
Check whether you are paying for a form that is free through a federal governmental agency. These are examples of federal legal forms available for free:
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Including forms used to file federal income taxes, request a monthly installment plan, and other tax-related forms.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): These forms include veterans' forms for compensation, education, insurance, loan guaranty, pension, vocational rehabilitation and employment.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): On this page, you will find immigration forms related to citizenship, green cards, US visas, and other immigration matters.
In Iowa, you can obtain many state court forms through the Iowa Judicial Branch website. These forms include:
- Divorce forms
- Small claims forms
- Name change forms
- Probate forms
- Pro se forms and information (representing yourself in court)
Some questions to ask about an online legal form:
- Is it a form that you can get for free elsewhere, such as through a government website?
- Research the company selling the form online. Is it a known seller with a physical address and a contact phone number? Check out a company, through search engines or sites such as the Better Business Bureau, to search for complaints.
- How do you know if the form complies with Iowa law and will be upheld in Iowa courts?
- How will you know how to correctly fill out the form? Are there written instructions?
- Does the company provide someone to help you fill out the form, if needed, or provide legal advice on how to properly complete it?
- Does the company have staff licensed to give legal advice on Iowa law? Are you talking with an attorney licensed to practice law in Iowa?
- Who do you complain to or what can you do if the form and/or legal advice is not correct for Iowa law and Iowa courts? Will the company correct the problem and, if necessary, provide you legal representation?
If you have concerns that a person or company is giving legal advice when not licensed to practice law in Iowa, email the Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Unauthorized Practice of Law or call 515-725-8029.