Child custody: Choose clothing carefully for court

Child custody: Choose clothing carefully for court

| Oct 23, 2020 | Child Custody |

If you were to survey most Kentucky parents, many would likely say they’ve encountered challenges from time to time in their households regarding clothing. Whether they’ve gone toe-to-toe with a teenager whose fashion sense drastically differed from their own or had to buy a new wardrobe to align with policies at work, most parents have had to resolve clothing issues. Parents litigating child custody issues will want to choose courtroom clothing carefully.

You might not think suing your ex for custody has anything to do with your clothing style. However, clothing presents an outward appearance, which may make an impression on others, particularly a family court judge who is overseeing your child custody case.

Clothing helps you convey a message to the court

If you’re trying to get custody of your children in a divorce, you want the judge who has the power to grant or deny that custody to be convinced that your children would be better off living with you than with your ex. Everything you say and do in the courtroom may influence the judge’s decision.

What you wear to court will also undoubtedly make an impression on the judge. You want your appearance and demeanor to exude confidence and to convey the message that you are ready, able and willing to provide proper care for your children. If you were a judge, would you think a parent who arrives to court looking sloppy, unclean or disheveled would convey such a message?

More than just your clothing matters

In addition to the specific outfit you choose to wear to a child custody hearing, hairstyles, cosmetics and accessories also play key roles in forming an impression when you’re standing in front of a judge. It’s always best to opt for conservative styles of clothing, make-up, hairstyles and jewelry.

Think of what you might wear to an important job interview or business meeting and go from there to choose clothing that is appropriate for a courtroom. Casual business attire typically includes items such as dress pants, skirts that are knee-length or below, a blazer or button-down collared shirt and shoes that have low heels.

Things to avoid

If you hope to win a child custody case, you’ll want to avoid certain types of clothing in court. For instance, it is definitely not the place or time to show up wearing pajama pants or pants that sag beneath your waist, exposing the buttocks. It’s also better to avoid stiletto heels or blue jeans, especially those that have holes or tears in them.

There are no laws regarding what you may or may not wear in court. However, many courts have websites that list dress codes. If you’re unsure what to wear to your child custody hearing, you might want to discuss the issue with an experienced family law attorney who can make recommendations on this and many other pertinent issues, as well.