Thursday, October 11, 2007

Need An Emergency Court Date? Only If Your Britney Spears

Britney Spears was granted an emergency hearing today in Los Angeles to ask the court to allow her overnight visitation with her two young sons, despite the fact that her next court date was not scheduled until late October.

How was Ms. Spears able to get a court date on such notice? Her emergency was that she simply wanted more time with her children. Her kids were not in any danger. In the real world for us average people, it can take up to 3 weeks to be granted an emergency court hearing.

During my own divorce, my ex refused to pay child and spousal support leaving me with all of the household bills and very little money. The mortgage was 2 months overdue and the utilities were about to be shut off so I asked my divorce attorney to request a court date. I was told that the courts were overcrowded and that "emergency" requests were rarely granted. I waited three more weeks for my court date, only to sit in court for eight hours and have the court date rescheduled at the end of the day! Of course my attorney billed me for those hours in court.

This is the sad reality for many people dealing with the family court system. Most family courts in our country are overcrowded . It is typical in divorce and child custody cases to be in court all day long. Often your court dates are adjourned and it can take months or even years before your case is settled.

But this is not the case for Britney Spears. She was able to arrive to court five hours late and still be heard by the judge. I wonder how many "normal" people in L.A .had their court dates cancelled today to accommodate Ms.Spears? Of course, it is not Britney Spear's fault that the Los Angeles court system bends over backwards for celebrities. It is just unfair.

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