Did you know that the Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) is the largest “neighborhood court” in the country? This is why the delay in hearing a child custody, divorce, or even traffic violation can sometimes take months. It also does not help that LASC has a very tight budget, which has forced the court to close down eight courthouses and reduce its workforce to improve the fiscal situation.
Thus, the number of courts hearing personal injury cases has gone from 12 to two, while limited civil case courts were reduced from 24 to one. The good news is that the LASC will save $56 million, but your divorce, personal injury, or child custody cases will take more time to resolve. The records show that in 2013-2014, there were 92,500 family law cases filed, not including juvenile delinquencies and adoptions.
As of 2014, the LASC was operating on a balanced budget and began opening new courts, including four family courts.
What Can You Do?
If possible, you should try to work out a settlement with the other party. The LASC offers civil settlement programs that assist litigants and their lawyers in resolving family disputes. This saves you not just money, but also time and other resources, so you can move forward with your lives. In some settlement programs, a judge is assigned to work with the clients and their lawyers. Other times, mediators are assigned from the bar association who are experienced in complicated litigation.
There are programs specifically for personal injury, business cases, employment cases, estate planning, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships. The objective of these programs is to help lower litigation costs and court costs
Under the family law courts, the type of cases that are heard include:
- Divorce or separation
- Child custody and support
- Special education rights
- Abuse or harassment
- Name change
- Gender change
- Estate, wills, and probate
Although all these situations carry emotional weight and trauma, child custody cases have been attracting more attention of late. Last year, there was a bill filed to change the common precept that fathers’ rights play a secondary role to mothers’ rights as parents, even if legally, child custody cases are decided based on what is in the best interests of the child. The bill was not passed, although fathers’ rights groups intend to continue fighting on their behalf.
If you are a father and you feel that you have not received equal and fair treatment, The Law Offices of Damian Nolan may be able to help you handle it traditionally or via the special programs with a mediator.