The Files Tab

This chapter of this User Guide describes how to create new files, load files, get clients started with client data entry, and share files with clients, accountants, attorneys, and judges.

Files Tab: Creating a New Client File

To create a new client file, click the Files tab, then Open/Save File on the left, then the  button.

You will see a dialog like this:

Figure 20 – “New File” Dialog Box

You may specify a file name and change the folder where the client file is saved.

By default, future files will be saved and opened in that folder.

Files Tab: Saving Files on a Network

Either when you create a new file or “Save As,” you may specify a folder on the network.

If the folder does not yet exist, you may create it by clicking the “New Folder” button, which is near the top left corner, as shown below.

“Save In” Dialog Box – New Folder

By default, future files will be saved and opened in that folder.

We suggest that you save all Family Law Software client files in the same folder, because it makes it much easier to find your files.

Files Tab: Opening an Existing Client File

To open an existing client file, click the Files tab, then Open/Save File on the left, then the  button.

Usually, the ten most recently-opend existing client files will also be displayed on the Files tab, Open/Save File screen, below the column of buttons. 

Recent files list on the Open/Save File Screen

Then all you have to do is click the file name.

Files Tab: Saving Client Files

Client files are automatically saved each time you click a tab, each time you exit the program, and at regular intervals while you work.

If you want to save while you are working, you may click the Files tab, then Open/Save File on the left, then the  button.

Or, simply type Ctrl+S to save the current file.

You can see the current folder at the top of the screen.  You may save them in a different folder by clicking the “Save As” button.

You may use this as a method of backing up the files.  Or you may use the ability to transfer files to CDs or other media described below

Files Tab: Deleting Client Files

To delete the currently-open client file, click the Files tab, then click the  button.

You may also delete files using “My Computer” in Windows.  The files may appear with our yin-yang symbol, and have the extension “.fls.”

Files Tab: Recovering Lost Files

Family Law Software is silently making a backup of every file you create. The backup is stored on your local computer, regardless of where your client files are stored.

If a file is lost, click the Restore button on the Files > Open/Save Files screen. If the file was created on the computer where you are sitting, you should be able to search for it and open it up.

We keep backups of a range of dates and times, so if you just want to retrieve an earlier version of the file, you can do that also.

Files Tab: Get Client Started

Family Law Software makes it easy for your client to enter his or her basic information and transmit it to you electronically.

That data will then load right up into your software.

These capabilities are free to your clients with your subscription.

Professionals who use this process with their clients find that this is a win-win for them and for their clients.  The client saves the cost of having the data entered by you or someone who works for you.  You are able to spend your time on high-value advising, counseling, and strategizing activities, which increases your value to the client.

The increased efficiency also better enables you to bill fully for all the time that you spend.

Simply put, this is a win-win because it makes the data collection and data entry process more efficient, so both parties can gain.

We offer two methods for the client to do this:

The pros and cons of each method are explained in an e-mail that your client will receive.  You may receive this e-mail by selecting “Getting Client Started” (explained below) and entering your own name as the client.

To get your client started, all you have to do is enter the client’s first name, last name, and e-mail address.  Then click the "Send E-Mail" button.

Your client will receive the e-mail which will detail his or her choices.

From there, the process goes like this:

1. The client will enter his or her information.

2. The client will send the information to you.

3. You should receive an e-mail, telling you that the client has transmitted the file to you.

4. You will get the file one of two ways, depending on how the client transmitted the file.

It may be attached to that e-mail; or

You will start Family Law Software, click Files tab > Get Client Data, and download the file directly into your computer.

The e-mail you receive will specify which way applies.

You may try this clicking Files tab > Get Client Started, and specifying your own e-mail address as the client.

Important note:  Please note that the software is not able to merge two data files into a single file.  So if you are a mediator, or if you are working with both clients in a collaborative context, you should arrange for both clients to work on the same data file.  Typically, the way they do this is for them to take turns.

If they are using the Client Software, then one client fills in his information and emails the file to the other client.  The other client enters his or her information and transmits the file to you.  If they are using the Web, they arrange to go use the same login information and to go online at different times.

 Files Tab: Paper Data Sheets

If you do not wish to have the client enter his information electronically, the software comes with Client Data sheets, which match the data entry screens of the Planner tab of the software.

To view and print them, click the Files tab, then Paper Data Sheets. 

You will see a screen that looks, in part, like this:

Printing Paper Data Sheets

Specify the names of the parties, then click the “Print” button.

If you wish, you may click the button to modify data sheet style and options.

Style and options include:

Once you have selected the style and options, you will see different screens based on whether you want to print brief or detailed data sheets (see below).

Select and Click to Print Brief Data Entry Sheets

Select and Click to Print Detailed Data Entry Sheets

Click “X” boxes to indicate which pages you wish to print.  If you wish to print the entire set of data sheets (all pages), you may simply click the box next to the line “Family Law Software Planner Data Entry Sheets.”

When you have selected the sheets you wish to print, click the  button.  The sheets you have selected will print.

Once the data is on the data entry sheets, you or someone in your office may copy it into the software.

Files Tab: Send File to Anyone

If you wish to send a data file to another professional who is using Family Law Software, click Files tab > Send File to Anyone.

If all professionals involved in a case are using Family Law Software, this ability to send data files back and forth can make the entire negotiation process more efficient for all concerned.

If a judge is using Family Law Software, you may send a file to the judge electronically as well.

You will see a dialog like this:

Sending a Data File to Another Professional

You may send any data file by e-mail to any professional.  You may send the data file to clients who are using Client Software, as well.

If the e-mail does not work, you may send the data file through our server, but this method may be used only with other subscribers to Family Law Software.

In order to send a data file through our server, you need to know the intended recipient's Professional ID and Access Code.

That information is displayed on the Home tab > Getting Started screen.

Enter that information and click the “Continue” button.

You will be asked to confirm that you wish to send the file, informed that the file is being sent, and told that the file has been sent.

If the file is sent through our server, the professional to whom you are sending the file will receive an e-mail in his or her regular e-mail inbox indicating that you had sent that person a file.

That person then starts his copy of Family Law Software, and he or she clicks Files tab > Get Files to load your file into his or her computer.

Once you have sent a file to a professional, the software remembers the contact information for that professional.  The next time you want to send a file to that same individual, just click the button in the upper left hand corner labeled "Look Up." 

You will see a list of people to whom you have sent files in the past.  Simply select the name of the person to whom you wish to send the file and click "OK."  That person's information will be filled in and all you need to do will be to click Continue.

Files Tab: Send File to Self

To send your file from your home computer to your computer at the office, or vice versa, click Files tab > Send File to Self > .

Once again, you may send the file through our server, or send via e-mail.

You will see messages asking you to confirm that you wish to send the file, that you are sending the file, and that the file has been sent.

When you get to the home or office, click Files tab > Get Files to get the file open on that computer.

Files Tab: Send File to Us

To send a file to Family Law Software technical support, click Files tab > Send File to Us > .

You will see the dialog box shown below:

Sending Data File to Us

You may send the file either via e-mail or through our server.

You may strip out personal information to preserve client confidentiality.

This is a wonderful way to get technical support, because we can see exactly what you have entered.  We also find that seeing the data helps us understand your question.

You will see messages asking you to confirm that you wish to send the file, that you are sending the file, and that the file has been sent.

You will then be prompted to write us a message.

If you send the file through our server, we do not know that the file has been sent unless we receive a message from you.

Files Tab: Get Files

Use Files tab > Get Files >  to retrieve files that have been sent to you by another professional or yourself.

You will see a list of files that are waiting for you on our server.  Files in this list include:

Select which files you wish to download by clicking on them.  (You may deselect by clicking again.)  Then click the “OK” button.

Now the files are on your computer, in the folder where you store your Family Law Software data files.

If a file of the same name already exists, you will be asked whether you want to overwrite it or to create a new file.

If you selected just one file, it becomes the currently-open file on your computer.

Files that you download are deleted from our server.  Our server is merely a conduit for the files that people are transmitting to you.

Files Tab: E-Mailing Client Files

If for some reason--such as a firewall in your office--you are not able to use the "send file" capability, you may still e-mail files to other professionals or to yourself.

Similarly, clients may wish to e-mail data files to professionals.

To e-mail the data file to another person, do the following:

1. Click Files > Open/Save File, and see (at the top) where your files are being stored.  Write this down.
2. Exit Family Law Software.
3. Start your e-mail program.
4. Address the e-mail to the recipient.
5. Indicate that you want to send an attachment (e.g., click the paper clip).
6. Navigate to the folder where you are storing your files.
7. Select your file.
8. Type the text of your e-mail.
9. Send the e-mail.

To open a file someone has e-mailed to you, do the following:

1. Right-click the file in the e-mail and select “Save As.”

2. Indicate that you want the file to be in the folder where you are storing your files.

3. Exit your e-mail program (this is not necessary).

4. Start the Family Law Software program, click the Files tab, then Open/Save File on the left, then the  button. Look for the file you downloaded and open it.

Files Tab: Set Up Services

If you want to change your Access Code, or if for some reason your software loses contact with our server, you may need to Set Up Services again.

On the Set Up Services screen, you register yourself with our server, so we may deliver files to you.  You should need to do this only once.

Here are the steps required to set yourself up.

1. Click the Files tab, then Set Up Services

  1. Click the “Set Up Services” button.  A dialog box like that shown below will appear.

Set Up Services Dialog

3. Fill in the Access Code.  This is typically your first inital and last name.  You will give your access code to your clients and associates.

4. Choose a password.  This is your PIN, a secret code for you.

5. Enter the e-mail for client notifications.  When clients or other professionals send files to you, you will receive an e-mail letting you know.  Enter here the e-mail address to which you would like those notifications sent.

6. Enter the state where most of your filings take place.  If it is more evenly split, enter either state.

7. Click the “Set Up Services” button.  You must be connected to the Internet.  There must not be a firewall that would prevent you from sending this information to our server.

Now you are set up to receive client files, files from other professionals, and files for yourself.

You should need to do this only once. 

However, if someone else in your office runs Set Up Services and changes the setup information, you will have to set up again to get our server in synch with your information.

Files Tab: Back Up Files

You may wish to back up your files to flash drive, memory key, network drive, or other device.

(For the purpose of this section, we will refer to all these media as a "drive.")

Family Law Software makes this a straightforward process.

To transfer a data file onto a drive:

1. Select the Files tab > Back Up Files.

2. Follow the instructions there to SAVE the client file to the drive.

To load a data file from the drive into the software:

1. Connect the drive to the computer (e.g., insert the drive into the computer's USB port).

2. Click Files tab > Back up Files.

3. Follow the instructions to LOAD the client file from the disk.

The software will copy the data file into the computer's Family Law Software folder.  You may remove the CD, flash drive, portable backup drive, or other removable disk.