Prepare for and go to your court date

What to bring with you

Bring with you:

  • A copy of your Petition about visitation
  • Copies of your signed Proof of Service forms for the notice
  • Notes of what you plan to say

Ask the probate clerk or  Self-Help Center for rules or guidelines around bringing a child if you think the child needs to talk to the judge. Usually, children do not go to court.

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If this is the first time you've been in a courtroom, review some basic tips about how to plan for your day in court.

Your day in court

You may need to wait before your hearing

Other people may have a hearing on the same day as you. Your case may not be called right away. You may end up waiting a few minutes or even more than an hour before it’s your turn.

The judge calls your case 

Walk to the front of the courtroom

When it is your turn, the judge or a courtroom attendant will call your names and say your case number. You go up to the front. The courtroom attendant will show you were to sit or stand.

Tell the judge your name and answer their questions

The judge will ask you to say your names. Then, you may be asked to swear to tell the truth.

The judge may ask: 

  • If you think visitation is in the child's best interests
  • What schedule would be best if there is visitation

The judge makes a decision 

The judge will make a decision whether to allow visitation. If they do, they will also order a schedule - days and times when the child will see the parent.

You must follow the orders the judge made.

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