Sacramento Family Court – Long Lines, Long Wait for Litigants

Sacramento, CA: As one of the biggest courthouses in our area, Sacramento Family Court has always been a busy place, with people coming to file paperwork, receive help at the Self-Help Center, or appear for a hearing or trial. However, due to budget cuts, the wait times in Sacramento have grown to an average five hours or more – and that is just to get your papers filed. If you are requesting a hearing on your matter because you and your ex can’t work things out on your own, it will be another wait of approximately six weeks before you get a hearing date before a judge.   The New York Times posted an article back on August 23, 2011, discussing the budget cuts and effects they were having, specifically commenting on Sacramento Family Court heavily feeling these cuts. See the article here: More recently, News 10 highlighted this growing problem, noting that the budget cuts were causing delays that made it difficult to accomplish much in Sacramento’s Family Court. There are times when people will arrive when the Courthouse doors open and wait all day to file their papers, only to be sent home at the end of the day, and told to return the next day to wait again.

The average time to complete a simple divorce in Sacramento these days is about two years, based on local attorney’s experiences. Considering these wait times and time frames for completion, it is no surprise that many people are turning to mediation to resolve their family law matters. In mediation, parties are in control of the timing – not the court. At Finding Common Ground™, mediated divorces often take three to six months to complete – a fraction of the time it takes to litigate a case in Sacramento these days. Our mediators prepare and file all of your paperwork, while guiding you through the mediation process, helping both parties work together to resolve issues and reach agreements.

Understandably, since mediation can take so much less time, the cost to mediate is drastically less than litigation, as well. The average mediated case can cost anywhere from one-third to one-tenth of a litigated case. Mediation saves both time and money, and the mediation process itself helps people reach agreements that last. Thus people who reach agreements in mediation are less likely to ever go to court.