The Los Angeles Times is reporting that budget cuts throughout the State of California (Los Angeles county in particular) has reached the steps of the courthouse. Actually, the cuts cut deeper and have resulted in an unprecedented number of courtrooms and court personnel getting the heave ho. Says LAT:
The Los Angeles court system has already closed 17 courtrooms and another 50 will be shut down come September unless something is done to find more money. The closures have disrupted everything from divorce and custody proceedings to traffic ticket disputes. The judicial council scheduled a meeting Friday to deal with the request from presiding Superior Court Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. to divert $47 million in funds from the courthouse construction budget to help stave off more courtroom closings and staff layoffs. McCoy predicts chaos and a logjam of civil and family law cases if additional funds are not found.
Some are predicting back logs for divorce and family law cases up to four years! That could be bad. But it also could be good. That is a lot of time for a “reconciliation” to occur. In some countries, like Canada, it is required that clients are encouraged to reconcile if that is possible before the filing of the petition. California requires no such time out. But this crisis with the budget cuts could serve as an involuntary time out which could help relieve the state of its dubious reputation of being the Divorce Capital of the United States, by lowering the number of divorces that occur each year. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?