Male Judge Writing On Paper In Courtroom

Understanding The Court System


You may be involved with more than one court system. Here are the three main ones that deal with custody. If you have a case in more than one of these courts, do not assume that one court knows what is going on with your case in another court. It is really important that you tell your attorneys and judges in each court what’s going on.

  • Things To Know And Do About Your Case

    It's your right to go to all of your hearings. It's a really good idea to go to your hearings so you know what's going on and are able to say what you want. In between your hearings if anything is troubling you, call your social worker  and attorney.
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  • Probate Court

    Judges in probate court hear cases where people (like grandparents, family, friends, etc.) are asking for custody, also called "legal guardianship" of a child who is not their own. You do NOT need to give another adult who is helping you with child care guardianship over your child. You should consult...
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  • Dependency Court

    Visitation order
    Dependency Court is the foster care court. In this court, judges hear cases filed by the County of Los Angeles against parents when the County thinks that the parents have abused or neglected their child.
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  • Family Court

    In family court, judges hear cases filed by a child's mother or father asking the court to make a court order saying how the parents should share custody of their child. Family courts also make decisions about child support, domestic violence restraining orders, and divorces.
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