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How The Jury Selection Process Works In Georgia & What To Expect

by Jefferson Lee Adams on Aug. 17, 2018

 General Practice 

Summary: Is Your Divorce Going To Require A Jury In Order To Obtain A Divorce Decree In Georgia?

Is Your Divorce Going To Require A Jury In Order To Obtain A Divorce Decree In Georgia?

Sometimes the process of obtaining a divorce can just get outright mean and nasty. If things are getting ugly and you aren't coming to any agreements between the two of you, you may be considering or if you already have an attorney they may be suggesting that you align with the possibility that you may need to obtain a jury based decision on the primary issues commonly fought out in divorce proceedings.

Is Your Child's Custody In The Hands Of A Jury – No Says Georgia Law

As one of the only states in the United States that allows contested divorce seekers the right to a jury trial, Georgia is offering those that seek to file for and obtain a decree of divorce this right in limitation due to the fact that juries are not allowed to decide on matters regarding child custody within divorce proceedings which seems to be the biggest hurdle for many parents to decide and come to an agreement upon. 

What Can A Contested Divorce Jury In Georgia Decide On:

With this understanding the deciding factor in a divorce case while a jury can decide on the other most common issues of equitable distribution of property, possession, money, child support and alimony only a judge by Georgia law can make determinations on the subject of who is best fit and equipped in matters of child custody.

The Decision On Whether Or Not To Go To Trial In Georgia Divorce Cases:

While in the majority of Georgia divorce cases settle prior to any trial being set and placed into motion, those contesting a divorce and that take their concerns to trial must decide whether to have a jury hear the issues of alimony, child support and equitable division of property, and other assets, or to have the judge assigned to the case hear all of the issues that both spouses seeking divorce wish to present. 

The Process of Jury Selection In Georgia:

If the individuals seeking divorce decide on a Jury Trial For Divorce, the first item on the agenda that is addressed is the matter of selecting the jury. This process is also referred to as Voir Dire. Voir Dire originating from the Latin phrase that means “to speak the truth” in relation to the judicial process however, voir dire has become the term used in the selection of a jury process. During the jury selection process in Georgia the judge and both attorneys representing their individual clients in divorce proceedings ask the potential jurors that have been subpoenaed a series of questions in order to determine whether they are mentally, intellectually, and emotionally appropriate to serve as jurors in the specific case.
Jury selection is an essential part of a divorce trial in the state of Georgia. This is primarily because the jury selection gives both sides the unwavering opportunity to ask potential jurors questions in order to uncover biases, stigmas, personal beliefs or personal characteristics that may cause that potential juror to favor the other party in the case based upon pretenses, beliefs etc... that the juror may have. Once the attorneys have taken their individual turns in order to question the potential jurors summoned for jury duty, the attorneys will then have the opportunity to present their individual selections to the court regarding which interviewed jurors they would like to eliminate and which potential jurors they would like included on the jury panel. 
Not only is it important to hire an experienced family law attorney for contested divorces that may end up going to trial but, it is crucial to hire an attorney that will fight for your case and that has experience in representing you and fighting on your behalf at trial. It is with that said that the divorce attorney that you hire to represent you be chosen with caution as knowledge, and experience in cases of contested divorces that need to go to trial before a jury in the state of Georgia and across Metro Atlanta where these are quite common and have the potential to get ugly.
If you're already in a position where things are beginning to get ugly the office of Jefferson Adams Law can help. Want to schedule a complimentary office visit? We'd be happy to sit down and discuss your options. 

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