If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, it is your right per the Sixth Amendment to a speedy and public trial. If, instead, you are going through a divorce, there is a very good chance that you will be waiting a long time for your court date. Many families in Orange County find themselves waiting six months to a year to even get into the court system. For divorcing couples with children, this can mean no child support order for many months.
In 2013, Orange County had the 4th highest number of family court filings for counties in Florida. The 9th Judicial Circuit, which includes Osceola and Orange counties, had 27,207 family court filings in 2013, which was the third highest in the state behind the 11th and 17th circuits. The current system is overwhelmed with a staggering number of cases, and the judges are trying to push through too many cases without the necessary staff.
Because the numbers are so high, many judicial circuits require mediation with a specially appointed magistrate prior to meeting with the judge. For undisputed divorces, where both spouses agree on child support, custody, visitation, division of property and debts, and alimony, resolution may come swiftly, sometimes taking as little as four to five weeks to be completed. But for disputed divorces, six months to a year is a realistic expectation for a court date.
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