Divorces in Georgia can take as little as 31 days or can drag on for years, but until that Final Judgment and Decree is signed there are serious questions that need answering.
Who stays in the house? Who do the children live with during the week? What kind of visitation does the non-custodial parent get? Who pays the bills? I don’t work, how will I survive?
This is when a Temporary Hearing comes into play.
A Temporary Hearing is when the parties to a divorce go before the judge to resolve immediate and pressing issues such as child support, custody, visitation, temporary alimony or temporary attorney’s fees. Even if divorcing parties think that they are amicable enough to just agree to child support and visitation while the details of the property settlement are nailed out, the Court likes to have an order of support and visitation on the books, just in case things get ugly. What about the 60-year-old unemployed woman who stayed at home for 35 years taking care of the kids who only has access to a checking account into which her husband puts only enough money into to cover household expenses? Well, the Temporary Hearing makes sure that those who need support get support, sooner rather than later.
Basically, a Temporary Hearing allows the Court to grant a Temporary Order directing the parties how to behave until the divorce is final. Again, please keep in mind that we are only licensed to practice in the State of Georgia and that these procedures are state specific. Further, if you live in Fulton County, it is a different procedure altogether which we will be elaborating on at a different time.
What to Expect and How to Prepare
While it is in everyone’s best interests to have a Temporary Hearing as soon as possible, sometimes that is just not possible with the Court’s schedule. In ideal circumstances, we’ll be able to get you to a Temporary Hearing within the first 60 days after the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. Other times, it maybe 3 to 4 months before you see the inside of the courtroom.
The Temporary Hearing is limited to only issues that need immediate resolution. So don’t expect to bring up who gets the china, the towels or how to split the 401k. You cannot bring a slew of witnesses that will sing your praises as a parent. Judges want to keep the Temporary Hearing short and to the point, so don’t expect your case to be in front of the judge for a day or days-long trial.
Your attorney should meet with you about two weeks prior to your scheduled Temporary Hearing. This gives us time to prepare your case, subpoena the right witness, and gather Affidavits on your behalf. Be prepared to review and revise your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit, provide updated income information and your most recent paycheck stubs. We will also discuss how to appropriately testify in court.
Tips for the Temporary Hearing:
- Wear appropriate clothing. For men, slacks and a button-down shirt are preferred. For women, skirts, dresses or pants are appropriate but remember to keep skirts just above the knee or longer and don’t wear anything too low cut, skin tight or showing your bra strap.
- Remove unusual and visual piercings (eyebrow, tongue, nose, multiple earlobe piercings)
- Cover tattoos, if possible
- Do not wear flip flops or open-backed shoes
- Do not wear shirts with inappropriate material or logos on display.
- Do not wear excessive make up and keep make-up tones neutral
- Shave or trim facial hair
- Hire a babysitter. DO NOT bring your child(ren) to Court.