You may need to wait before your hearing
Keep in mind that other people may have a hearing 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 will call your names and say your case number. You go up to the front. Someone, usually the bailiff or a clerk, will show you which side to take and tell you to sit down. The bailiff is usually the person in charge of keeping order in the courtroom.
Tell the judge your name
The judge will ask you and the other side to say your names. Then, you may be asked to swear to tell the truth.
The judge asks questions
Usually, the judge asks the person who filed the Request for Order to talk first. No matter who talks first, you’ll both get a turn.
Answer the questions the judge asks
The judge might ask you:
If there is anything you have to add to what you already wrote in your papers
Why the other person's solution doesn't work
The judge may also have a question about something you wrote.
Show any evidence you brought
Tell the judge what documents you have. If you didn’t already, give the other side a copy of the document.
The judge makes a decision
Usually, the judge will make a decision that day. If the judge feels they need more information, the judge may ask you to come back another day.
Someone prepares an order for the judge to sign
Once the judge makes a decision, the judge will need to sign a court order.
- In some courts, court staff will do this.
- In other courts, one of you (or a lawyer, if either of you have one) will have to prepare the order.
If you have to prepare the order, use Findings and Order After Hearing (form FL-340). It will need to say exactly what the judge decided.
The Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center may be able to help you with these forms.