Themus (themus_revenge) wrote in little_details,

Probate court proceedings for guardianship hearings, California

Okay, so I've spent hours trawling through all the legal mumbo jumbo available to google and I've even searched high and low for transcripts for 'Judging Amy' and so far nothing is giving me the information I need to know.

So please can anyone tell me how a guardianship hearing would proceed in a probate court in California?

Absolutely no points for guessing which fandom this is for.

So the story is, a married couple have petitioned for guardianship of a minor child who is currently in a group home, one of them is an attorney and will be handling that side of it during the hearing.  The parents of the minor child are objecting to the guardianship and have shown up to the hearing with their attorney to contest it.  The guardian ad litum is obviously also there, ready to give their recommendation.

According the to research I've done, it seems that petitions for guardianship in California go through the probate court not the juvenile court.  As I realise there's a heck of a lot of difference between, for eg., the criminal court and the juvenile court, what's different about a probate court?  Is it as formal as criminal court?  As informal as juvenile court?  Or somewhere in between?

Specifically, what I really need to know is how the hearing would go - who gets to speak when, kind of thing.  For example, does the guardian ad litum give the recommendation before the judge proceeds to ask questions from the other parties, or does the GAL speak whenever the judge feels like getting that side of the story?  Out of the objecting parents and the petitioning guardians which gets to give their side of the story first?  Do the social worker and the caregivers from the group home get asked any questions?

I hope this is a clear enough question.  What I'm not looking for is how to petition for guardianship (I already know all about which forms need to be filled out and who needs to be informed, etc) or how the judge will rule (I get to decide that, coz it's my story).  I'm really just looking for the mechanics of the hearing, as it were.

Failing that, any suggestions for TV programmes or websites with videos that would give me the flavour of the thing would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Tags: ~custody & social services

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