On October 20, 2023, it was reported that a divorce judge had been fatally shot outside his home. An ex-husband in a divorce trial he had presided over immediately became the prime suspect. This situation is an example of the extreme reaction spouses can have to judges – perhaps blaming them when they experience unfavorable results in their divorce trials. How much power does a judge really have over your divorce trial? What kind of judge can you expect to get if or when your divorce goes to trial?
Divorce Judges are Appointed by Nonpartisan Elections
One important note is that divorce judges are appointed to superior courts via nonpartisan elections in Georgia. This means that (at least in theory) the political affiliation of a particular judge should not be a factor in their election. In other words, the people of Georgia elect judges – not the ruling political party. Furthermore, the political affiliation of a judge is not listed on the ballot – so it should not be clear whether a judge leans to the left or to the right.
In addition, one must take into account the fact that Georgia is considered a “swing state” by many observers. This means that the state is home to roughly equal portions of Republican and Democratic voters – and it is not always clear whether Georgia will be “blue” or “red.” During partisan elections, this approximate 50/50 divide also means a roughly equal chance of a divorce judge identifying (privately) as either a Democrat or Republican.
With all that said, judges are not supposed to consider their own political views when making decisions about divorces. The only thing that should matter is the law – and the way in which it is written. However, some laws are open to interpretation – and this is where a judge’s political leanings can influence their decisions.
How to Limit a Judge’s Influence on Your Divorce
At the end of the way, there is no real way of knowing how a judge will view your specific divorce. One of the reasons many divorcing spouses attempt to avoid litigation altogether is because of its unpredictable nature. Creating a divorce agreement and avoiding the courtroom is an excellent way to take back control of your divorce. In this process, a judge simply needs to sign off on your divorce agreement without considering their own personal views on how the case should be handled. Speak to your divorce about mediation or collaborative law to learn more about this process.
Where Can I Find a Divorce Attorney in Georgia?
If you have been searching for a qualified divorce attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses – and we know that you may have many concerns as you head toward a divorce trial. With help from your attorneys, it may be possible to limit the amount of influence a judge has on the outcome of your trial. Book your consultation to learn more about your legal options.