Life isn’t fair. You will be judged on your appearance and how you dress when you go to your family law hearing. While it may be true that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, that saying doesn’t apply in front of a judge during a divorce or other family law hearing.
Since you need to put your best foot forward and you will definitely be judged on your appearance, Family Matters Law Group wants to remind you of four key things to keep in mind when you are wondering how to dress in court.
You dress for court the same way you would dress for a job interview. That means business dress. A simple suit will do the trick. If the weather is blazing hot outside, you can get away with slacks, a button down shirt and a tie without a jacket. Colors should be neutral and not flashy, and make sure that your belt matches the color of your shoes. Finally, dress shoes are needed.
This is not a time to dress casually, so do not wear shorts, t-shirts, basketball or tennis shoes, or sandals. If a piece of clothing has holes in it, is something you would wear when you’re cruising at the club, or looks like it belongs in a fashion show, leave it at home. You want a clean, professional, neutral appearance.
While looking professional is key, you also don’t want to be uncomfortable in what could be a very long day at court. If your shoes are too tight, then find a different pair. Don’t try and squeeze into a dress shirt or slacks that you wore ten years ago, but don’t fit today. If you know you are going to sweat profusely if you wear a jacket, skip the jacket and go with just a dress shirt and tie.
The key here is that if you are distracted by uncomfortable clothing, it’s going to be apparent. You won’t be able to pay attention in court and you’ll look miserable. That’s the opposite of the impression you are trying to make.
The sure fire way to jack up your alimony or child support payment is to come to court looking like King Midas. You can’t argue for lower spousal support while you’re wearing your finest Rolex watch and your Armani suit. That’s a mixed message the judge will not ignore. Keep the trendy designer clothing at home and minimize the amount of jewelry. You are trying to present a low-key, humble image.
Speaking of distractions, it’s a good idea in general not to distract the court with your appearance. Bright colors, a lot of accessories, or other distracting clothing will bring attention to you that you probably don’t want. Gentlemen, it’s a good time to cover up the tattoos if possible and take out any odd piercings that can be distracting.
Hygiene is important. Come to court freshly showered, with hair combed and clean shaven (or at least nicely trimmed if you wear facial hair). If you come to court looking like you just rolled out of bed after a hard night, the judge is going to have questions about your ability to take care of yourself, much less your family.
An experienced attorney can help polish your courtroom appearance with further ideas on how to dress for court. Family Matters Law Group has years of experience helping our clients put their best foot forward. If you are in Henry, Clayton, or Fayette counties, or are in the Atlanta metro area, contact us today online or by phone. We’re ready to hear your story and fight hard for your children and your assets!