San Diego County is unique because it is one of the larger counties in California with a diverse community. From Clermont to Chula Vista, San Diego County retains a wide range of social and economic groups. Sheer size is not the only factor contributing to our diversity: our proximity to the US/Mexico border and the numerous military bases. First, the US/Mexico border means that San Diego is California’s gateway to Central and South America. Numerous first and second generation emigrants call San Diego home, enriching our communities. Second, the numerous military bases means that soldiers from all over the US are stationed hear in San Diego. It is not uncommon that someone who enlists in Texas or New Jersey is stationed in San Diego. Therefore, San Diego’s communities have both an international and transnational feeling due to its location on the US/Mexico border and its numerous military bases.
Although these factories contribute to a rich and divers community, they can create a assortment of problems for anyone dealing with a Family Law disputes. Family Law covers a wide range of domestic issues, ranging from divorce and child custody to paternity and guardianship. The sheer size of San Diego means that there is no centralized family courthouse; instead, San Diego has four major courthouses (Vista, Chula Vista, El Cajon, and Downtown 6th Avenue) that deal with Family Law cases. Each court has a slightly different way of conducting business. This creates problems because it might not be clear which courthouse has jurisdiction over a particular case.
The second unique challenge of Family Law in San Diego is magnified by our Governments recent budge cuts. Because of our proximity to the board and our diverse community some San Diegans do not speak proficient English and need the assistance of a certified translator during court proceedings. Due to major budges cuts, the court no longer provides certified translators for civil trials. Being unaware of this can create serious problems in the court room since court proceeding must be in English.
The third problem is something that is faced by other military towns as well. A service member is at the mercy of their change of command when it comes to what city they live in. This can create problems if a service member is required to move away from their children and/or the other parent. When legal custody is shared by two separated parents, both parents must consent to any move or change of address. If a parent’s consent can not be attained, the parent who is moving must receive court orders to take their children with them. This is just one consequence of having joint legal custody over a child.
There are two types of custody: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Physical custody determines who actually physically has and takes care of the minor child. Legal Custody, which the court typically keeps it as joint between parents, determines who can make life style choices for the children, such as what county they live in, what school they attend, what religion they are raised with. etc.. Since the court tends to keep separated parent’s custody as joint, being asked to move by an employer, like the military, complicates a parent’s life and can create a Family law dispute.
These issues demonstrate the complexities of Family Law in a community as diverse as San Diego. Attorney Brian Burkett is aware of the unique challenges facing San Diego Family Law. He has assisted individuals entangled in legal disputes for more the 10 years. Mr. Burkett is an experienced and skilled Family Law attorney who graduated from San Diego’s own Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
If you think that you need assistance with a divorce or custody dispute in San Diego, then please give us a call (619) 250-2683 to schedule your free initial consultation with Attorney Brian Burkett or visit his Web Site for more information at http://www.childcustodyanddivorce.com/
This article should not be considered legal advice and was written by a non-attorney, Joshua Stutz.