Section 19-5-10. Duty of judge in undefended divorce cases; appointment of attorney; evidentiary hearings; evidentiary attacks on prior judgments  

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  •    (a) In divorce cases which are not defended by the responding party, the judge shall determine that the asserted grounds for divorce are legal and sustained by proof or shall appoint an attorney of the court to discharge that duty for him. An evidentiary hearing for the determination of the existence of the grounds for divorce and for the determination of issues of alimony, child support, and child custody and other issues is authorized but not required. If no evidentiary hearing is held, the determination of such matters may be made upon the verified pleadings of either party, one or more affidavits, or such other basis or procedure as the court may deem proper in its discretion.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply to proceedings pending on July 1, 1987, as well as to proceedings filed on or after that date.

    (c) Any motion to set aside or other proceeding to attack a judgment which attacks a judgment entered in a divorce case prior to July 1, 1987, and which is based upon an alleged failure to properly establish evidence supporting the judgment must be commenced prior to July 1, 1988, or thereafter be totally barred. The bar established by this subsection is in addition to and not in lieu of any other statute or rule of law which would operate as a bar to such a motion or other proceeding; and this subsection shall not operate to revive any otherwise barred right to prosecute any such motion or other proceeding.
Orig. Code 1863, § 1687; Code 1868, § 1730; Code 1873, § 1735; Code 1882, § 1735; Civil Code 1895, § 2455; Civil Code 1910, § 2974; Code 1933, § 30-129; Ga. L. 1987, p. 565, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1315, § 1.