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What Can I Expect at My Divorce Hearing?

All Georgia divorce decrees must address important issues such as property and debt division, alimony, and, if you and your spouse have children together, child custody, access or visitation, and child support, among other issues. If you and your spouse cannot agree on one or more of these issues, your divorce becomes contested and can only be resolved through formal court proceedings. This may involve one or more hearings for the court to hear evidence about the issue and make a decision in your case. Unless you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all issues, there is no way to resolve your divorce without attending a court hearing.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to attend one or more court hearings related to your divorce proceedings. Contested divorces and divorces of parties who share children often attend temporary hearings, which allow the court to set up temporary orders that typically remain in effect while the divorce proceedings are pending. Temporary orders can be important because if your divorce is hotly contested and involves many complex issues, it could take a very long time to schedule your case for trial and get a final resolution from the court. At a temporary hearing, evidence is limited to the parties and one additional witness, as well as any relevant documentary evidence. These tend to be relatively brief proceedings. However, it is important to know that temporary orders are not necessarily final orders. That is, temporary orders can change throughout the course of divorce proceedings, and do not always reflect how the case will end up.

If your Georgia divorce proceeds to a trial, your case will be heard either by a judge alone, or by a judge and a 12-person jury. Both spouses will have the opportunity to present evidence, which can be documents, pictures, or testimony by witnesses, in support of their respective requests. The trial will focus on whatever issues are contested by the parties, whether they involve child custody or the division of property. The judge will make decisions throughout the trial about whether to admit certain kinds of evidence, and each side will use any admissible evidence to try and prove his or her case.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.