What to expect at a guardianship hearing

Even if you did not file a written response, you can go to the hearing and ask to speak or submit a written response at the hearing. The judge will ask you to explain why you agree or disagree with the guardianship.

illustration of a remote hearing

Remote options and tips. If the hearing is remote (by phone or on the computer), get some tips on what to expect in a remote hearing. If it isn't remote and you can't go in person, contact the court clerk or your court's Self-Help Center to find out your options.

Your day in court

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.

You may need to wait before your hearing

Keep in mind that other people may have a hearing the same day as you. The 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.

If you would like to speak, check in with the courtroom attendant to let them know you are there and that you would like to speak at the hearing.

The judge calls the case

The person who started the case goes to the front of the courtroom.

A judge or courtroom attendant will call the child's name and usually also the name of the person who filed the case and say the case number. They will go to the front of the courtroom. The judge may go over the paperwork and see if they've filed everything required. If they haven't, the judge may ask them to come back later (called a continuance) once they have.

The judge asks if there is anyone who would like to speak.

If you filed a written response, the judge may call your name and ask you to speak. If you did not, make sure that you let the court staff know you are there and that you would like to speak. When the judge says it is your turn to speak, a courtroom attendant will show you where or sit or stand.

You may be asked to swear or affirm that you will tell the truth. The judge will likely ask you why you agree or disagree with the guardianship. Each parent, if there, will get a chance to speak to the judge. 

The judge makes a decision or sets another court date

If the judge has the investigator's report and has heard from everyone there, they may make a decision at the hearing. If they need more time to decide, they may "take it under submission."  If the investigator didn't finish their report yet or the judge needs more information, they may set another court date.

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