Completing a divorce has never been tougher in California.  It’s not because the laws have changed, or other legal obstacles or impediments have sprung up to discourage married couples from parting their ways.  It’s simply about money and the fact California, like every other state in our union, is experiencing a budget crisis.

The latest casualty to divorce court is the Los Angeles Superior Court which announced last week that it will reduce its staff by nearly 350 workers, close 56 courtrooms, and reduce its use of court reporters.  It is the most significant reduction of services in the history of the Los Angeles court system.

One of the major problems is that while courts are reducing their staffs, case filings continue to increase.  This will create incredible pressures on the courts, family law and otherwise, to keep up with their workload

The judicial branch’s budget, which represents nearly three (3) percent of California’s budget, has seen nearly a thirty (30) percent overall reduction since 2008.  The $350 billion budget reduction, passed by the California Legislature and approved by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, is the deepest reduction in state court history.

In Los Angeles, of the fifty-six (56) courtrooms that will be closed, three deal with family law.  As is the case here in Ventura, the caseloads of those courtrooms will be distributed among the remaining courtrooms.  Self-help and family law assistance services also have been reduced or closed in courts throughout the state, which can only be bad news for those trying to move forward in their lives through divorce court.

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