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How familiar are you with the family court system?

When a person retains the services of an attorney to handle a family law matter, they will likely find themselves in an entirely new world that bears little, if any, resemblance to anything they've seen on television or in films. Indeed, it's not just the settings that are foreign, but also the language used, the paperwork filed and, of course, the proceedings attended.

In recognition of this reality, today's post, the first in a series, will spend some time providing some basic background information on the family court here in Fulton County, the primary forum in which most family law matters in this area of the state are resolved.

What exactly is the Family Division of the Superior Court of Fulton County?

As implied by the name, the jurisdiction of the Family Division extends to traditional family law matters like divorce, child custody, child support and visitation. However, it also handles non-divorce matters such as adoption, paternity, contempt, domestic violence, and parental rights termination, to name only a few.

When was it founded?

It may come as a surprise, but the Family Division was actually founded in the summer of 1998 as a pilot project and then went on to become a full-time program of the Superior Court after proving to be a resounding success. To date, it's handled over 66,000 cases.

Who oversees matters in the Family Division?

At any given time, the Family Division is staffed by three Superior Court Judges, all of whom rotate in and out according to a set schedule. However, the Family Division is also staffed by Judicial Officers, meaning part-time magistrates designated as Family Division Judges to help supplement a frequently packed hearing schedule.

Do Judicial Officers have the necessary background to handle these cases?

Absolutely. Judicial Officers are licensed attorneys with the extensive experience and in-depth skill needed to handle family law/domestic law matters in a fair and impartial manner.

We will continue this discussion in future posts ...

If you've arrived at the difficult decision to pursue a divorce, consider sitting down with a dedicated legal professional who can examine your situation and outline your options, including alternatives to traditional divorce.

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