CA Court Crisis

What the Means for You

The court system has been facing underfunding for the past several  years.   Now courts in California are facing unprecedented state budget  cuts.  Courts  have been forced to make drastic cuts to services.   Courtrooms have been closed and staffing has been reduced.  

What does this mean for you?  Why should you care?  

If you plan to get divorced using the court system and you want the  court to set spousal and/or child support, custody arrangements, or rule  on the division of community property, you will need to plan for delay,  delay, and more delay.  

It is always a difficult decision to divorce.  Once you’ve made the  decision, you don’t want your divorce to take years.  You want to have a  sense of closure to your marriage.  

And, to compound the problem, all criminal matters have precedence  over civil matters.  This means that all civil matters such as divorces,  disputes over contracts, small claims, and all other civil disputes are  squeezed into fewer courtrooms with far fewer support personnel.  This  means that you will wait for your case to be put on the court’s  calendar.  And even then your case may be continued to a future date  likely to be months away because the judge simply has too many cases  scheduled before yours.

How can you avoid having your divorce take years rather than months?  What is the readily available solution?  

Hire a mediator to work with you and your spouse so that you can  reach mutually agreeable solutions to all divorce issues – support,  parenting plans, retirement assets, medical insurance, etc.  Mediation  requires no court time, no court appearances, and all required documents  are submitted to the court.  

Remember that in mediation you will be in control of all agreements.   Nothing can happen until you both reach agreement on every issue.  You  may think that it is impossible for you and your spouse to agree on  anything.  Most people are getting divorced because they can’t agree on  some very important issues.  After all, isn’t that why you are getting  divorced?   The fact that you can’t agree on anything means that you  need a mediator to help you work through all the issues – including some  issues that you may not have even thought about but that are important.   That is the mediator’s job:  to help you both understand your legal  rights and the financial picture, and then to help you both move toward  an agreement that you each will find acceptable.