Child Custody: Why Is My Case Continually Delayed?

divorce court delaysBy Kevin Mammola

Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell

The length of time a divorce case takes to reach resolution is entirely dependent on the facts and circumstances in that case.

Uncontested cases – cases in which there are absolutely no disagreements as to any issues in the divorce – can be resolved rather quickly. But contested cases involving child custody agreements can take much longer to resolve, sometimes as long as a few years.

In my experience, contested custody matters can often take some time to reach the judge’s trial calendar so it is not uncommon for those actions to take one to two years to reach a final conclusion.

There are many factors which could result in a delay of the court hearing the case.

For example, the court may have ordered custody evaluations, the children may have to be treated by child psychologists, a Guardian ad Litem may have been ordered by the court to investigate the case, etc.

It will often take some time and effort for these professionals to complete their investigations.

Once the court has issued its ruling, you do have options if there is a delay in the judge actually issuing the final order.

I recommend that you make a written request to the judge requesting that he enter the order. Your request for an order may just require some simple follow up.

If the case went to trial then the judge likely ordered one of the parties to draft the order. If you have already provided a draft of the proposed order to the judge, then I would simply provide it to him again, reminding him of when the case was heard in his court, and that you would like some finality to this matter.

If you don’t receive an order after your first written request, I would again follow up with written requests every couple of weeks. Unless the other party is objecting to the language that you included in the proposed order, I am sure the judge will sign the order in response to a very respectful, courteous written request.

As always, each party’s respective approach toward litigation (cooperative, difficult, just out to make the other party mad, etc.) always influences the time a case takes to reach a final resolution.


Kevin Mammola Atlanta Divorce AttorneyTo schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell mens divorce attorney, including Kevin Mammola, an attorney in the Atlanta, Georgia office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Child Custody: Why Is My Case Continually Delayed?

    Delays in custody cases are unnecessary, improper and unconstitutional–Justice delayed is justice denied
    Contested child custody cases that are delayed for many months or even years, because of the judge’s purported calendar, are unnecessary, improper and an unconstitutional denial of Due Process and Equal Protection of the Laws. Given that child custody cases are second in precedence to criminal cases, judges who delay cases because they say they cannot expedite these matter are “full of crap”.

    As found in Massachusetts, judges work 30 hours per week or less, can be found taking 3 hour lunches, or out on the golf course. Secondarily, child custody cases must take precedent over all other issues in a divorce, especially the money issues, e.g., child support, and especially alimony, equitable distribution, attorneys’ fees, etc. Children need to be given immediate stability with both parents and need to know that they will have a mostly seemless transition involving both parents.

    If the temporary custodial parent alleges domestic violence or other abuses, whether or not false, these matters need to be immediately addressed without all the attendant “foot dragging”. Custody evaluators, psychologists and parenting plans being submitted by both parties needs to be accomplished within the first 75 days of the filing of a divorce case (or domestic violence final order). If the courts do not conduct custody hearings within 3 months (90 days) to make a determination of joint custody (or as equal custody as possible for the best interests of the stability of the children) within this time frame, then judges are committing emotional, psychological and physical child abuse and must be removed from the case, and/or the bench for incompetence, bias and child abuse.

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