What to bring to your hearing

Bring with you:

  • Order Appointing Guardian or Extending Guardianship of the Person (form GC-240)
  • Letters of Guardianship (form GC-250)
  • All your other court papers
  • Copies of your filed Proof of Service forms for the notice

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 but it depends on the court and the case.

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

Keep in mind that 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 courtroom attendant will call your name and say your case number. You go up to the front. If the child's parents are there (or anyone who objected), they will also go up. A courtroom attendant will show you where to sit down.

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 you why the child needs a court-appointed guardian
  • Ask you why you should be appointed as the child's guardian.
  • Ask the parents to speak, if they are there, and tell the judge whether they agree that the child needs a court-appointed guardian and that you should be appointed
  • Ask the child questions about their relationship with you and with their parents

The judge makes a decision 

If the child's parents agree to the guardianship, a judge may order a guardianship if it is necessary or appropriate to protect the child's best interest.
If one or both parents object to the guardianship, a judge will order guardianship only if both:
  • Staying with the parents or 1 of the parents will be detrimental to the child, and
  • The guardianship will be in the best interest of the child.

If the judge apponts you as guardian:

  • The judge will sign your Order Appointing Guardian or Extending Guardianship of the Person (form GC-240)
  • The clerk will issue the Letters of Guardianship (form GC-250) that you have signed.

File your court order with the clerk. Take your Order Appointing Guardian or Extending Guardianship of the Person (form GC-240) and Letters of Guardianship (form GC-250) to the clerk's office to certify and file them. Ask the clerk for a certified copy of the Letters. They will charge you a fee. If you cannot afford the fee, ask the clerk if they will waive it.

If the judge makes you a guardian

You will need to keep your certified copies of the Letters in a safe place. Make a few photocopies of the Letters. They are the evidence that the court has appointed you as the child guardian.

You will also need to send a confidential update each year to the court using Confidential Guardianship Status Report (form GC-251). You may also need to go back to court if:

You (or the child's parent, or the child if 12 or older) can also ask the judge to end the guardianship.

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