‘One-Day’ Divorce Is National Trend

Of course it’s not really “one day,” but faster, do-it-yourself, lawyer-free divorces are becoming a national trend, according to the New York Times. A driving issue is cost, reports the NYT,  which reports that “… costs vary by location, but Randall M. Kessler, a family law specialist in Atlanta, said a typical divorce with no major disagreements over assets and custody issues might cost a few thousand dollars, while cases with significant disputes can easily cost $25,000 or more

 In California, says the report, roughly three-fourths of family law litigants lack lawyers, according to  Maureen F. Hallahan, supervising judge in the family law division at San Diego Superior Court. Typically, people file initial divorce paperwork on their own, but they don’t know what to do next, so their file languishes for months. Budget cuts in the state courts reduced available personnel and made the problem worse.

 Like most “one-day” programs, the term doesn’t mean a divorce is truly started and completed in a single day — residency and notification requirements have to be met first. You must, for example, already have filed a divorce petition and served your spouse with divorce papers to participate. But the program does allow you to wrap things up in a single day, or even a matter of hours, once you meet the initial criteria. “This is designed to help people get through the system,” said Judge Hallahan.

Read the story here: California Pioneers the Court-Aided One-Day Divorce

Divorced? You Might Want To Double-Check That

With California divorce courts slowing to a snail’s pace, some citizens who want to re-marry are finding out that they can’t – because clerks have not yet processed required documents for a judge’s signature. And now Ted Rall, one of the more famous cartoonists contributing to the Los Angeles Times, has issued both a cartoon and a column mocking the sorry state of our courts.
He suggests switching it all to the Internet, using a lie-detecting algorithm and delivering results via robots and drones. He also solidifies his optimist cred by noting a positive side to the mess: Every cloud has a silver lining. Because so many courthouses have closed, some Californians are automatically getting exempted from jury duty: “In San Bernardino County, the Superior Court has stopped summoning jurors from Needles, making the guarantee of a jury of one’s peers elusive. Because of court closures in the High Desert, a trip to court from Needles can take some residents 3 1/2 hours.”

It’s a fridge-worthy cartoon and column: If our courts are broke, how can Californians get divorced? An idea.

Family Court ‘Expose’ On The Big Screen

Photo: www.divorcecorp.com

Photo: www.divorcecorp.co

That new “Divorce Corp.” documentary by Joe Sorge continues to make waves, with Variety saying that its director “… depicts the family court itself as an untrustworthy, user-unfriendly system of so-called justice. Here, they claim, divorcing couples are placed at the mercy of judges who are frequently irresponsible in their judgment; intolerant of those who attempt to navigate the courts without counsel (there are no court-appointed attorneys); and prejudiced in favor of lawyers who ply them with campaign contributions.”
The trade journal also calls the film a “vigorous but clumsily argued expose of the corrupt family-court practices that have turned one of life’s more painful experiences into a $50 billion-a-year industry.” The movie is in limited theatrical release now and Los Angeles is one of the cities where you can find a showing. Check out the Variety piece for showtimes and the rest of the review here.