The Home Tab

The Home Tab is used for a number of administrative and organizational topics, which are discussed in this chapter.

Home Tab: Getting Started

The Getting Started screen allows you to print this guide and also our QuickStart guides.

Home Tab: Sample File

The Sample File a screen allows you to open a Sample File, as shown below.

Open Sample
Load Sample File

Once you open the sample file, you may make changes to it, as with any case file.  To save your changes click Files tab > Save As.

If you save the file this way, you may load the file by clicking Files tab > Open.

Home Tab: Tech Support

The software offers a number of ways of getting technical support, and these are displayed on the Technical Support screen on the Home tab.

The best way of getting technical support is to send us your data file along with your question.  We find that if we can see all of your entries, we can understand the situation very rapidly and can respond effectively.

You may send files to Family Law Software technical support simply by clicking Home, then Tech Support, then the button labeled “Send Your File.”


You will be prompted to send us the file, as shown below.

Save in dialog box
“Send Your File” dialog

Note that you may elect to strip out personal information (that is, any identifying details).

Then you will be prompted to send us a message.  We will address the issue and respond as soon as we can.

Note that, in order for this to work, you must be connected to the Internet.  Also, if you have firewall software running that prevents files from being transmitted from your machine, then that software will block this function.

If you are not able to use this function, you may still send us files as an attachment to an e-mail.  Address the e-mail to support@FamilyLawSoftware.com. 

You can locate the folder where the file is being stored file by clicking the Files tab and reading the top two lines on the “Create, Open, and Save Files” screen.


File location on Files tab > Open/Save File screen

When you are attaching the file to the e-mail that you are sending to us, navigate to this same folder.

In addition to sending us your file, you may e-mail us with questions or simply call us.

To send us an e-mail with a question, click the “Email Us” button on the Tech Support screen.


“Email Us” button on the Home / Tech Support Screen


Home Tab: New KeyCode

Use this “New KeyCode” screen to enter your KeyCode at any of the following times:

To enter a new KeyCode, do the following:

1. Click the Home tab, then click New KeyCode on the left.

2. Click the “New KeyCode” button.

3. A dialog box will appear for you to enter your KeyCode information.

4. Enter your new KeyCode.  You must enter the dashes.  Be sure that the name you enter matches exactly the name under which you registered.  The e-mail or paper that has your KeyCode will also have the name under which you registered.  Also, your first and last name as you enter them must be exactly as shown on the e-mail you receive that shows your KeyCode.

6. Click “OK.”

7. You will have entered your new KeyCode and you will a message of Congratulations.               

8. Continue to enter your professional information.


Professional Configuration Dialog

The profession you select determines a few things about the software:

Your name appears on all your reports.  Your firm name can appear as well, depending on your Print Options settings.

The remaining information will appear on the opening page of reports that are printed on Planner tab > Reports screen.

Home Tab: Order / Renew

Family Law Software is sold on a subscription basis.  Your KeyCode has encoded within it the date your subscription expires.

If your subscription is about to expire, a message box will pop up alert you to this fact when you start the software.

If you would like to renew your subscription, go to the "Ordering Software" screen on the Home tab, and then click the “Renew” button.



The“Renew” button

Or, you may call us toll free at the telephone number shown on the screen.

Home Tab: Software Updates

We at Family Law Software regularly post updates to the software on our web site. 

At this writing, we are creating significant new releases to the software every few months.

The updates are free to all subscribers.

This section explains the different kinds of updates and how to get them.

The monthly updates are what we refer to as major releases.  When a major release occurs, the next time you start the software, a note will pop up informing you that a major release has been posted and asking if you wish to download it.

In between the major releases, we will frequently release minor upgrades.  Minor upgrades typically respond to a request from an individual customer.

The reason we do not alert you to minor upgrades is that we do not wish to inconvenience you by having you constantly download software that likely will not affect your work.

To update the software, Family Law Software downloads and reinstalls the entire program.

Your data files are not affected by upgrades, and they will load in the updated version.

The figure below shows two of the buttons on the Software Updates screen


Buttons on the Updates Screen

If you do wish to download the most current version -- whether it is a major release or a minor release -- go to the Software Updates screen and click the "Download" button.

If you just wish to check whether we have released a major release, then go to the Software Updates screen and click the "Check" button.

Home Tab: Software Updates - Auto-Updates

The software is set to check our web site automatically every 7 days for new major releases.

You may modify or turn off this checking if you wish.

To this checking off, click the Home tab, then Software Updates, then the Auto-Update button.

You will see the dialog similar to that shown below.


Auto-Update dialog

To turn off the checking, clear (un-“X”) the box that says “Enable Auto-Update.”

You may also change the number of days between checks, by entering a new number where it says, “Enter the number of days between update checks.”

If you want the software to check for updates every time you start the software, enter “0.”

Home Tab: Prof’l Info - Professional Information

On the Professional Info screen, you may enter your name and your contact information, to be printed on reports.

To enter that information, click the Home tab, and then click Prof’l Info on the left.

Then click the link labeled Click here to enter professional information.

A dialog box like the one shown below will appear.


Dialog Box for Entering Professional Information

Enter the relevant information, and then click the “OK” button.

This information will then print on the cover page and footer of your reports.

Home: Prof’l Info - Entering Court Information

The court where the case is heard is likely to be the same from case to case.

Therefore, the software allows you to enter this information once, and it will be saved from case to case

To enter information about the court, go to the Home tab, and then click Prof’l Info on the left.

Then click the link labeled "Click here to enter court information."


Dialog Box for Entering Court Information

Home Tab: Prof’l Info - Entering Disclaimers

You may wish to enter a standard disclaimer that will appear on the cover page of all your reports.

To enter a standard disclaimer:

1. Write the disclaimer in Microsoft Word or another word processor.  You may use only plain text – no bold, italics, etc.  Highlight the text and press Ctrl-C to “copy” it. (That would be Cmd-C in Macintosh.)

2. In Family Law Software, click the Home tab, then click Prof’l Info on the left.

2. Click the link labeled Click here to enter professional disclaimers.

3. A dialog box like the one below will appear.  Press Ctrl-V to “paste” the text.


Dialog Box for Entering Professional Disclaimer

5. Click “OK.”

You also have the option to enter a shorter "Footer Note," which will print at the bottom of each page when you print a full report.

6. When you print a report, your disclaimer will appear at the top of the first page (after the cover page), as in the report below.

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Sample Printed Report Containing Disclaimer

Home Tab: System Info – Print and Report Options

On the Home tab, you may also change System Information, that is, some aspects of the way you interact with the program.

You my specify “Print and Report” options here by clicking the link labeled, “Click here to specify Print and Report Options.” 

Home Tab: System Info – System Options

You may also change various system options.

The first of these is to confirm overrides about system-calculated values. 

This affects the way the system prompts you about overrides.  An override is a manual entry that replaces a system-calculated entry or a carried entry.

System-calculated entries appear in the color blue.

You may override the system-calculated values.

When you wish to override values, simply type in the field.  A message box will appear, asking if you are sure you want to override the entry. 

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Overrides Dialog Box

If you are sure, answer “yes.”  The color of the entry will turn to red.

This box appears once each session with the software.

If you wish to change the system option to turn off this Overrides Dialog Box if you wish, simply check the box labeled “Do not show this message again.”

As an alternative way to turn off the overrides dialog box, select the Home tab, then System Info.  Then click the link that says, “Click here to specify System Options.”  The following message box will appear.


System Settings Dialog Box

To turn off the overrides dialog box, clear (un-check) the “Confirm Overrides” check box, as shown in the figure above.  Once this box is cleared, you will be able to type in calculated or carried fields as easily as you can type in user entry fields.  The value you enter will turn red, to indicate that it is an overridden entry.

When you place your cursor in an overridden field, a window will pop up to show the actual value. 

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Dialog Box Showing Calculated Value

To remove the override and use the actual value, click the button labeled, “Click here to use it.”

Other options include the following:

Home Tab: System Info – Default Folder

Click this link to change the folder where your Family Law Software files are stored.

The folder may be local on your computer, or on your firm's network, or on a cloud service such as DropBox or SugarSync.

If you are in a firm, each computer in the firm must be using the same default folder in order for people in the firm to view and edit each other's files.

Home Tab: System Info – Security Options

The only security option now is encryption. By default, whenever files are sent from Family Law Software, the files are encrypted. If you clear this check box, the files will not be encrypted.

You should leave this box checked.

Home Tab: System Info – File Transfer Options

FTP should be set to "passive" in order to allow e-mail and files to be sent from the software.

Home Tab: System Info – E-Mail Options

The file transfer options contain a couple of options that may help transfer files from your computer to our server more smoothly.

In most cases, if you cannot transfer a file to our server, you may e-mail the file to the intended recipient.

Family Law Software offers the ability to e-mail PDF files and client data files from within the software.

There are also a number of options with respect to sending e-mail, as shown below.


Dialog Box Showing E-Mail Settings

The best option is to send e-mail directly and use Family Law Software e-mail services.

If this does not work, you may use our local e-mail account and fill in the settings as shown below.

If you do not know the SMTP server for your account, you can search the web for the phrase “[Internet Service Provider] SMTP server” where [Internet Service Provider] is your Internet Service Provider.  So, for example, you would search for the phrase “Comcast SMTP server.”