Court Budget Cuts and the Orange County Family Law Litigant

How can state budgetary cuts affect an Orange County family law litigant?  While the average Orange County couple heading to the Orange County family court may feel that what happens in Sacramento does not affect them here in Orange County, they may be unpleasantly surprised to learn that state budgetary cuts of the past several years affect almost anyone dealing with the courts - especially family law litigants and attorneys.

For the past several years, California’s judicial system has felt the impact from the state's relatively severe budget cuts.  Like any other county, the Orange County family court's new financial limitations had results, including, but not limited to, employee layoffs, reduction in available services, and reduction in clerical hours.

But what do the budget cuts mean for the Orange County family that now needs to utilize the Orange County family court for resolution of a family law case?  For starters, the budgetary cuts experienced during the past 3-6 years forced attorneys and litigants to endure relatively longer delays in obtaining hearing or trial dates, there was more limited access to court resources such as court reporters, and there was a reduction of access to court provided custody mediators or evaluators.  The culmination of the family court's reduction in its budget meant that almost all cases took longer from start to finish than they may have prior to the budget cuts.  The impact continues to be felt most by litigants and attorneys not experienced with family law litigation in Orange County.

To address budgetary limitations, the hardworking personnel of the Orange County family court continue to invest large amounts of time in creating effective solutions to address budget limitations.  While the original impact of the budgetary cuts was feared to be drastic, the Orange County family court continues to do well in productively working with limited resources and an increased number of litigants.

Another impact felt by family law litigants as a result of the budget cuts was their relatively reduced ability to present issues to a judge in light of the limited number of available courts and the increased number of cases.  One of the solutions used by the Orange County family court to address this issue is the court’s increased use of third-party volunteer neutral mediators.  These dedicated volunteers are professionals experienced in family law who volunteer their time to the court and litigants to resolve pending issues.  This service continues to be especially useful for litigants who need the help of a third party when a judge may not be readily available to them.  Through the use of mediators available at the Orange County family court, family law litigants and their attorneys have access to third party decision makers to address and resolve pending matter - this can usually be achieved without the need to adjudicate a matter before a judge.

Experienced Orange County family law attorneys also continue to use creative solutions to efficiently represent clients with family law matters in light of court budget cuts.  Attorneys representing clients with higher monetary resources sometimes utilize private judges for mediation, arbitration or trial of pending issues.  Many experienced Orange County family law attorneys continue to provide their clients with useful information as to case resolution tactics available in conjunction with or as alternatives to court centered litigation.

While the problem of budgetary limitations facing the judicial system is continuing to improve, it is important for family law litigants to understand that the ramifications of the budgetary cuts of the last 5-6 years have not completely been resolved.  For these and other reasons, Orange County family law litigants now, more than ever, stand to benefit from the services of experienced Orange County family law attorneys to efficiently navigate their case through the Orange County family court.  Specifically, attorneys experienced with the Orange County family court have firsthand knowledge of court provided services as well as effective alternative resources available for more efficient and effective resolution of family law disputes.

If you or someone you know is now involved or will soon be involved in a family law case in the Orange County family court, contact a representative of Bayati Law Group, P.C., for a case evaluation.  At Bayati Law Group, our practice is exclusive to family law in Orange County.  Our focused knowledge and experience provides us with the ability to effectively and efficiently guide family law litigants through the Orange County family court so that our clients can move forward with their life's other priorities.  If you need an experienced Orange County family law attorney, contact Bayati Law Group for a consultation today at 949-798-5700 or visit www.BayatiLaw.com.

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