A huge backlog of child support cases in the courthouse in El Paso, Texas, has left some parents waiting as long as four months to get in front of a judge. One of the problems there in processing these important family law cases has been the fact that only one judge was assigned to hear them. This resulted in long waits, including waiting in a long line on the day they were to see the judge.
Last year, that judge noted, he wound up issuing a grand total of 6,400 child support orders. The average handled by other courts statewide is approximately 3,000 per year, or half of his workload. The El Paso judge was hearing 50 cases a day, and the delay added to the backlog. The judge, believing that this was unacceptable, convinced the county commissioners that what was really needed was a second judge to share the burden. They agreed, and a second judge is now available to hear the cases, which should help to start to break up the logjam.
The first judge says that the two of them will each probably still handle about the same number of cases a day, with the goal of making the backlog lessen. He hopes that, between them, they can cut the delay in hearing cases to two months rather than four. This would only catch-up with what is offered elsewhere in Texas. Most of the other major cities, such as Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, already have four judges each hearing child support cases.
This is a positive step both for custodial parents and their children needing support and for non-custodial parents paying support who may need modification of child support orders based on changing circumstances.
Source: KFoxTV.com, “Soon parents battling over child support won’t have to wait” Melissa Gunderson, Oct. 08, 2013