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770-609-1247 | Georgia Divorce Glossary and Information

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Coleman Legal Group, LLC
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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – the term used to describe a process of guided communication between two or more parties in a dispute to find an acceptable negotiated resolution.  ADR helps parties resolve disputes without having to conduct a court trial.  ADR may be ordered by the court in divorce and family law cases.

Arbitration – a method used to end disputes by an impartial third party who issues a decision after a hearing when both parties have the chance to express themselves

Child Support – monetary payments made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to assist in the child’s upbringing

Child Custodya court determined physical/legal responsibility on which parent will be the primary caretaker for a child under 18

Complaint / Petitionthe plaintiff or petitioner’s first document filed in court testifying accusations against the other party

Contempt– a deliberate disregard for judicial or legislative power by not adhering to court orders or interfering with court procedures

Court Clerk – an officer of the court who is responsible for court records

Custody – the custody, visitation and parenting arrangements when the parents of a child(ren) are divorce or never married.  Types of custody are defined as below by Georgia law unless otherwise agreed by the parties involved:

  • Legal Custody – means the right to determine the child’s upbringing, including education, health care and religious training.
  • Joint Legal Custody – means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities, including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child’s upbringing, including education, health care and religious training.
  • Primary Physical Custody – one parent having a greater responsibility for providing regular care for the child

Defendant / Respondent – The spouse or party whom an action is filed against in a divorce or other family law action.  This person is not the party that initiate the case with the court.

Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit – a financial statement presented to the court listing all of one’s assets and debts as well as monthly income and expenses

Final Judgment and Decree – a document that the judge at the court hearing authorizes to conclude the divorce process

Guardian ad Litem (GAL) – Guardians ad litem are court appointed advocates for children involved in a court proceeding involving a divorce or family law issue.  In Georgia, a GAL may be a state employee, a state contract employee, or a trained volunteer.  In Georgia, all GAL’s must meet state requirements for training and competency.

Judge – a court of law official appointed to resolve legal cases

Legal Advocates – In Georgia, Legal Advocates work or volunteer at community programs and provide support to victims of domestic abuse.  A Georgia Legal Advocate may explain the legal process, provide information and give referrals to legal or social service agencies.  A Legal Advocate may accompany you to court – but the Legal Advocate cannot speak for you in court.  It is important to note, if you use a Legal Advocate, you are acting as your own attorney and do not have legal representation.

Marital Property/Assets – all property obtained during the marriage by at least one person in the marriage with some exceptions

Marital Debtall debt that is obtained during the marriage

Mediation – is a form of ADR in which an impartial third party facilitates the negotiations and forming of an agreement between two or more parties in a divorce or family law case.

Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) – when a mediator is first employed to help both parties resolve their issues, and if unsuccessful then an arbitrator continues the process

Mediator – a mediator is a trained and licenses professional that helps the two parties to a divorce or family law case define the problems, identify acceptable options and to reach a mutually agreeable solution.  A mediator cannot make decisions for the parties or order the parties to take actions that they do not want to take.

Motion – a request brought to the court to obtain some rule or order in a legal matter

Paralegals  – Paralegals and legal assistants are non-lawyers who provide assistance and administrative help to a lawyer.  Paralegals may research the law, draft legal documents, help gather information and determine facts about a case and provide procedural information.  However, a paralegal is not supposed to form and provide a legal opinion or advice without attorney supervision.

Parenting Consultant – a mediator who guides and advises parents to resolve any parenting issues

Parenting Coordinator – a Court assigned professional psychologist or lawyer that guides difficult child custody and visitation cases

Parenting Plan – A comprehensive document that lays out all the details that divorced, separated or never married parents can use to guide them in parenting, visitation and communication regarding their children.

Parenting Time – The time a parent spends with their child.  Parenting time can be measured in hours, days, weeks or other units of time.

Plaintiff / Petitioner – The spouse or party that initiates a Divorce or other Family Law action in the court by filing the required paperwork with the court clerk’s office.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) – a legal order that divides a retirement plan to give each divorced spouse their portion of the pension plan

Residence – The place where a party has established a permanent home and from which the party has no present intent of moving.

Separation – When a couple lives apart without an official marriage termination

Standing Order – a legal order that is relevant to all ongoing court cases

Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy, Business Law and Immigration. We have offices conveniently located at:

Alpharetta Georgia
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Suite 52
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Atlanta Georgia
Colony Square
1201 Peachtree Street, 400
Colony Square, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Dunwoody, Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Rd
Building 600
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Cumming Georgia
The Avenue Forsyth
410 Peachtree Parkway
Building 400, Suite 4245
Cumming, GA 30041
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Johns Creek, Duluth GA
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
Suite 100
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Duluth Georgia
2180 Satellite Boulevard
Suite 400
Duluth, GA 30097
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map

Kennesaw Georgia
TownPark Center
125 TownPark Drive
Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

1755 North Brown Road
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map

Georgia Areas We Serve
Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s divorce and family law attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Canton, Woodstock, Douglasville, Kennesaw, Gainseville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Inman Park, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Covington, Conyers, Newborn, Mansfield, Oxford, Social Circle, Porterdale, Buford, Sugar Hill, Suwanee, Dacula, Ball Ground and Starrsville.

Our divorce and family law attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette, Newton, Walton, Rockdale and Clayton. 

Copyright © 2017 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All Rights Reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC • 5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 52 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 • 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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