Wednesday, January 5, 2011
A new bout of California laws for the New Year includes changes to Caifornia divorce law:
The major change focuses on oral testimony in court.
"Previously, for most hearings before any trial, testimony is done in writing by declaration and submitted to the court," Fleischer said. "Starting on Jan. 1, all hearings require oral testimony unless both parties specifically waive that right or a judge finds good cause not to have oral testimony.
"The definition `good cause' is slated to come in another year. This will require everyone who previously signed declarations to testify, which can include the divorcing couple as well as all of the third party witnesses, which could be numerous."
Fleischer said the law is well-intentioned but will have unintended consequences.
"Sometimes people need to have their voices heard by the system, and their credibility during testimony needs to be observed and judged," Fleischer said. "But our courts are already bogged down and we cannot get hearings for months. Oral testimony takes time and this will only serve to cause more delays."
Fleischer said this will also make the use of attorneys more costly to the parties.
Read more here.