A political stalemate in Fairfax County has left several judicial court seats vacant, and the repercussions are affecting families hoping to get their cases heard. The bipartisan approach to selecting judges for vacant seats has ended in Fairfax County, and political infighting has left many seats unfilled. Two of the eight seats currently left vacant are in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court along with one in the General District Court, and there are more vacancies on the horizon. These vacancies have crippled the system for family law cases, as sitting judges are unable to handle the additional workload and cases are being delayed. Families needing decisions on child custody, child support, and other important family law matters are being postponed by months, and the situation may get worse before it gets better.
What Does This Mean For Your Case?
This backlog and postponement of family law cases can have significant effects on your family law case in Fairfax County. One serious area of issue is with temporary spousal and child support orders. In Virginia, custody and support proceedings, a judge usually makes temporary orders for issues such as spousal support and child support. Temporary orders are often made after only a short hearing, where full evidence is not typically presented. These orders usually stay in place until a final resolution, whether by agreement or trial ruling. You may realize that the support order is not enough to sustain you or your children, but with matters backlogged in court you may have to consider other options, or wait an inordinate amount of time for a judge to hear your request.
Another potential issue exacerbated by the judicial backlog is the temporary order for child custody. These orders are also done after a short hearing but can determine where your child stays and visitation for the noncustodial parent until a resolution is reached. Hiring a lawyer from the onset of the divorce or custody matter can fully prepare you to temporary order to ensure that you receive custody or full visitation with your child while the divorce progresses through a backlogged court. Support and custody are only a couple of issues that may be affected by the backlog in Fairfax County courts, so it is highly recommended that you speak with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss how else your divorce may be affected by the current situation.
Contact Our Office Today
If you have questions about your family law matters and need legal advice, call or contact Duff & Kronfeld in the Fairfax area today. Our office has experience in the Fairfax County legal system and will be able to answer any questions you may have about how the backlog in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court may affect your case.