6 People to Know in Georgia Child Custody Cases

Your Georgia child custody case may involve many professionals. Below, find a breakdown of what each does.

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Case evaluator

Case evaluators are lawyers or retired judges who oversee late case evaluations. They help parents decide whether to settle or proceed to trial by giving them foresight into how the judge may rule. Parents are responsible for the case evaluator's fees.

Court clerk

You'll see the clerk when you open your case or submit other paperwork. Besides filing court documents, clerks are in charge of serving the defendant and issuing warrants and summonses.

Court reporter

Court reporters create transcripts of all court proceedings. They're present during depositions, hearings, trials and, if parents allow, arbitrations.

Guardian ad litem

Guardians ad litem (GALs) are lawyers or court appointed special advocates (CASAs), depending on your county, who help the court determine what's best for children. The court appoints a GAL when allegations of abuse, neglect or other troubling behavior arise.

The GAL conducts an investigation that takes three to five months. They interview with parents, children and others involved. They also make home visits and attend hearings.

To conclude, they usually write a report that includes a custody and visitation recommendation for the judge to consider. Many times, parents settle after seeing the report. If not, the GAL can testify about it at trial, when called as a witness.

If the guardian ad litem is an attorney, the judge determines how parents split the fees. As volunteers, CASAs don't charge.

Judicial officer

If you live in Fulton County, a judicial officer may oversee your status conferences. Judicial officers are court-appointed lawyers who have experience with complex domestic relations cases. They issue temporary orders, as well as review settlements before the judge signs them into orders.

Staff attorney

Staff attorneys assist the court by conducting legal research, drafting legal opinions, answering questions from parties or their lawyers, and more. In Fulton County, they may conduct status conferences at the request of a judge or judicial officer.

Professional technology

The professionals working on your case have many tools on hand. One of them is available to parents, too: Custody X Change.

With a parenting plan template, custody and visitation calendars, a digital journal and beyond, the Custody X Change app makes sure you're prepared for whatever arises in your journey to custody.

Take advantage of the technology the professionals use, and get what's best for your children.

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