Atlanta Divorce Lawyers
top divorce lawyers in Atlanta are aware, divorce and family law
cases are handled very differently in Atlanta than in any other
court in Georgia. This is because in 1998, Fulton County started a
family law pilot project that created a family law division of the
Fulton County Superior Court system. The backbone of the family law
pilot project is that the best way to handle divorce and family law
cases is to have judges which are dedicated to hearing only divorce
and family law cases. Specifically, they are limited to cases
involving: adoptions, alimony, alimony modifications, child custody,
child custody modification, child support, child support
modification, contempt, divorce, domestic violence, legitimation,
modifications, paternity, step parent adoptions, and visitation.
Litigants and lawyers alike will quickly find out the differences in
handling divorce cases in Atlanta do not stop with the fact that its
judges only decide family law cases. It only begins there. This is
because of the extensive case management system employed by the
Fulton County Family Court.
first difference in this case management system begins at the very
start of litigation when the initial Complaint for divorce is filed.
At this point, the parties and their attorneys receive what is
generally known as the standard initiation packet. This packet not
only provides valuable information about how family law and divorce
cases are handled in Fulton County, it also mandates initial
discovery responses be provided to each party. These discovery
requests include interrogatories and request for production of
documents that, in essence, require a husband and wife (or mother
and father for child support cases) to disclosure their assets,
liabilities, and current expenses along with supporting
documentation for these items thereby expediting the handling of
their divorce and family law manners by providing the critical
documents needed to initially evaluate child support, alimony and
The second major difference with how divorce and family law cases
are handled in Fulton County is that the judges employ judicial
officers to help with the administration of cases. These judicial
officers preside over a series of status conferences which start
merely 30 days after a case is filed. Both parties and their
attorneys are required to attend each conference. These conferences
are aimed at checking in on the status of the litigation, make sure
the cases are moving efficiently through the court system so that
they can receive a quick divorce, and to address any issues that
arise along the way - which can be quite common for divorce and
family law cases.
third major difference with divorces and family law cases in Atlanta
is the way that the court actively employs alternative dispute
resolution mechanisms to resolve cases. Working in conjunction with
Fulton County's Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Fulton
County provides two free four hour mediation sessions to try to
facilitate the participants finding their own solutions to their
disputes. Fulton County even uses late case evaluations wherein an
experienced attorney evaluates each party's cases and lets them know
their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to help the parties
mutually agree to a resolution.
Finally, Fulton County courts get actively involved in their cases
along the way be employing Guardian Ad Litems at a reduced hourly
rate. A Guardian ad Litem is an attorney who has had at least 20
hours of specialized training for child welfare and custody issues.
In addition, the Court or the GAL can order psychological
evaluations and drug testing if applicable to help in making a
you can tell, lawyers and parties alike have a vastly different
experience with their divorce and family law cases in Atlanta.
Fortunately, the divorce attorneys at Meriwether & Tharp handle
numerous cases in Atlanta and have the experience with the ins and
outs of the Fulton family law system to help your with all of your
divorce and family law needs.
Our lawyers are dedicated to providing excellent legal
services for divorce, child support and child custody issues in the
Atlanta, Georgia area.