Title 19, Chapter 5, Section 1
(a) Total divorces may be granted in proper cases by the superior
court. Unless an issuable defense is filed as provided by law and a
jury trial is demanded in writing by either party on or before the
call of the case for trial, in all petitions for divorce and
permanent alimony the judge shall hear and determine all issues of
law and of fact and any other issues raised in the pleadings.
(b) In any county in which there has been established an alternative
dispute resolution program pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 15, known
as the "Georgia Court-annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Act,"
the judge may, prior to trial, refer all contested petitions for
divorce or permanent alimony to the appropriate alternative dispute
resolution method. In counties in which an alternative dispute
resolution program has not been established, a judge may nonetheless
refer any disputed divorce case to an appropriate alternative
dispute resolution method if a method is reasonably available
without additional cost to the parties.