The petitioner’s side gets to present their case first. The
petitioner gets to call his witnesses and ask specific questions of
that witness. The respondent then gets to ask questions of each
witness after the petitioner is done. This procedure continues until
the petitioner has finished with his side of the case. The petitioner
then rests his case.
The respondent then gets to present his side of the case. The
respondent gets to call his witnesses which are subject to
cross-examination by the petitioner. In some cases involving children,
the court may appoint an attorney or other advocate, known as a
guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will present the case from
the child’s point of view once the respondent has rested.
After all of the parties have had a chance to call witnesses and
testify, the court will likely take the case under advisement and
return a judgment in due time.