Once the judge makes a custody decision, can I find out why s/he made that decision?
Yes. Before the end of the custody hearing, either parent can request that the custody order outline the specific reasons why the judge came to the final custody decision and which factors (listed in How will a judge make a decision about custody?) were the determining factors. If joint legal custody is awarded, the judge will also address issues affecting the child's education, health, extracurricular activities, religion, and any other important matters. The order will be filed within 30 days of the final hearing, unless that timeframe is extended by the judge upon the agreement of the parties.1
1 O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3(a)(8)