SAN DIEGO — The guardianship case for the Millete children is moving forward, with a trial date now set.

The three children’s mother, Maya Millete, has been missing since January 2021. Their father, Larry Millete, is currently in custody awaiting trial for his wife’s disappearance.

Their three children have been living with Larry’s parents in the Chula Vista home Maya allegedly disappeared from. Maya’s sister, Maricris Drouaillet, filed a case to get custody of the three children. In the meantime, she has court-authorized visitation rights for certain dates and times.

The judge set a trial date for Jan. 5, 2024. It is anticipated to be a five to seven day-long trial with approximately 12 witnesses called. After, there will be a decision about who the legal guardians of the three Millete children should be.

During Tuesday’s hearing, no cameras were allowed inside the courtroom.

The attorney who represents Maya’s family, Scott H. Finkbeiner, appeared via video into the hearing Tuesday. Drouaillet, who is fighting for custody of the three children, also appeared via video along with a court-appointed representative for the Millete children, Kelly James.

In the hearing, James provided updates on the children’s wellbeing. She shared with the court that the youngest just started first grade. He is in counseling, but he was described as “brilliant and flourishing.”

James and Larry’s attorney Bonita Martinez said the two girls — now in their teens — just went back to school as well. After school, the two are playing basketball and doing taekwondo.

The judge during Tuesday’s hearing did voice concern that the two girls had not been in counseling all summer. They are set to begin counseling sessions at school in the next two weeks, James said.

She added that the summer visitations with Maya’s family have been “rough.” The visitations had to be cut short, James explained, and during a few of the visitations, the girls refused to leave the room. No further details about these visitations were discussed in court.

During the hearing, Martinez requested a delay, but that was met with opposition from Finkbeiner and the judge, Olga Alvarez. Finkbeiner said this case has been going on for far too long and the three children “need and deserve” a plan to move forward.

Larry is set to face trial for the alleged murder of his wife in January 2024 — a date set after several delays. His trial is estimated to last between two to three months, but it could be pushed back again.

Larry and his counsel requested the start of his murder trial to be pushed to next year in July, citing an impending inability to pay for Martinez’s services. The judge in the case gave Larry until the next status conference on Oct. 10 to figure out these funding issues.

If he cannot afford her counsel, she will have no choice but to release herself from the case. In that case, the murder trial would likely be postponed again for at least a year, as to allow a public defender to take over the case and be prepared for trial.

Martinez said the Millete house is likely to be put on the market soon and is expected to make about $600,000 available in equity, which would be shared between Larry and the newly-appointed conservator for Maya.