If you are going to family court then chances are that you have children. With your attorney fees and court filing fees adding up, paying for childcare is likely not an additional expense that you want to incur while attending court hearings. However, bringing your kids to the court hearing is not an ideal alternative. In fact, courthouses, especially family law courthouses, are not the best environment for young children to be a part of. In family court, the atmosphere is typically very emotionally-charged and can be frightening to young children if exposed to what is going on. Luckily, there is an alternative option now as many courthouses offer a Children’s Waiting Room.
California Government Code Section 26826.3 and California Rules of Court Section 10.24 set forth the state’s policy that each court must make an effort to provide a children’s waiting room in each courthouse for the children who are present in court with their parent or guardian attending a court hearing either as a litigant, a witness or for other purposes. The waiting room is supervised and open during normal court hours.
The Children’s waiting room is meant to be a safe and nurturing area for children to go while their parents are in family court. The waiting room is staffed with trained volunteers who will care for your children. It is stocked with child-sized furniture, toys and games, which will help keep your child occupied while you attend your court hearing. With your children safely occupied at the Children’s waiting room you are able to focus on your court hearing or other meeting being held at the court.
In California, there are actually sixty-seven courthouses that have children’s waiting rooms. Specifically, in San Diego, a Children’s Waiting Room is currently offered at the following locations: Family Court, Juvenile, North County Regional Center, East County Regional Center, South County Regional Center, and three locations Downtown.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse or have questions regarding the divorce process. Nancy J. Bickford is the only lawyer in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.