- In Georgia, Family Courts falls under the Superior Court System established at the county or region level.
- While other types of cases like domestic violence and juvenile have been parsed out to specialized divisions of Superior Court, family law has remained solely within the Civil/Criminal Division of Superior Court in Georgia. It means that Family Court cases share the same resources (judges, courtrooms, etc.) with other civil and criminal cases.
- Fourteen states manage family law cases within a separate family court or within a separate family division of an existing trial court.
- Nine states created family divisions within existing trial courts.
- In Gwinnett County Georgia, there were 8,156 family law cases and 6,890 criminal cases in 2016.
- Unlike most contracts in which a party must prove breech by the other party, a party can unilaterally file for divorce without having to prove a breach of the marital contract.
- Once filed, the case is permanently assigned to the judge for the district where filing party lives. Gwinnett County is divided into 11 districts.
- Jurisdictions within Georgia have considerable latitude with their process. Some require parties to complete a class about post-separation parenting. Some publish templates documents that can be used by pro-se parties.
- Once the opposing party has been notified about the filing(usually through process server), the Discovery process begins.
- Since there are no formal standards on custody, discovery can take several months as parties try to find damaging/useful information about the other party. While documents are filed with the Courts, they are typically not directly involved with the process.
- Once discovery is complete, the parties may try to settle without it being tried in Court. Most of the time, parties agree to a settlement negotiated between them and/or their attorneys. If not, the case is scheduled for trial.
- Because there are constitutional rights (right to speedy trial, etc) involved in criminal trials, they take priority. Contested domestic relations cases can take a one or longer from filing to conclusion.