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Family Law Blog

California Child Custody, Divorce Disputes Will Now Take Longer to Resolve

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Family law disputes, including those related to child custody and divorce, are likely to take a much longer time to be resolved after the San Francisco Superior Court announced financial cutbacks.  This means that people who want a quick resolution of their dispute will have to pay for expensive private judges.  Similar delays are likely in other parts of the state as well. 

This week, San Francisco Superior Court presiding Judge Kathleen Feinstein announced cutbacks in order to close a $13.75 million deficit.  As a result, all types of cases, including family law-related cases, are likely to move at a snail's pace from this point on.  For instance, uncontested divorce proceedings are now likely to take eight months to settle, while child custody disputes, which used to earlier settle in about six weeks, now take six months to be completed. 

Those San Franciscans who want to get their family law disputes resolved quickly will have to shell out big money for private judges.  Having a private judge could cost between $2,500-$10,000.  That is not counting your California family lawyer’s fees and other legal costs.  Those who can't afford those kinds of fees will find that their divorce or custody dispute drags on for months.

What's more, judicial budgets are being slashed across the state, and as a result, there may be such cutbacks and consequent delays in the resolution of family law cases across California.  Alameda County Superior Court is likely to have its budget slashed by $6.7 million, while at Santa Clara Superior Court, judges are talking of cutbacks of close to $7 million.  Similar cuts are in the pipeline for other jurisdictions as well.  The Judicial Council of California is meeting soon in San Francisco to discuss the distribution of financial cutbacks across the state.

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