Child Support and Custody Disputes: How Should I Dress for Court?

Attending a court hearing for any reason can be an intimidating experience. But attending court for a child custody and/or child support hearing can be particularly daunting because your child’s wellbeing will be significantly impacted by the outcome. As a result, you will certainly want to look professional and remain as calm and collected as possible while you are in court. But what exactly should you wear?

The answer to this question is relatively straightforward in most cases, but if you have specific concerns, please feel free to reach out to our firm for guidance. While the general rule of thumb to “appear professional” is an excellent jumping off point, not every judge responds to the same approach. For example, some judges who are more traditional may respond better to dark colors, traditionally cut clothing and women who opt for dresses or skirts instead of pants. This isn’t necessarily a reasonable approach, but it is reality. If you connect with our firm and express your concerns, we will advise you to the best of our ability.

Clothing, Accessories, Hair and Tattoos

The courtroom is both a professional environment and a relatively solemn place. Laws are enforced inside courthouses and lives are often impacted in dramatic ways within the walls of any given courtroom. As a result, it is important to appear professional when attending a child custody and/or support hearing. The judge who will be deciding your case will make subconscious determinations about who you are as a person and as a parent based upon how you look. You therefore want to make as favorable an impression as possible.

Unless your area (or your judge) is particularly conservative, you do not necessarily need to wear a suit to court. But you should consider wearing attire that would be appropriate for a relatively formal office setting. Men should generally wear collared shirts and dress pants, no denim or t-shirts. Women should avoid leggings, low-cut tops and clothing that does not adequately cover the belly and rear. In addition, it is important to make sure that your clothing is in good condition. It should not be stained, ripped, dirty or otherwise unprofessionally kept.

In addition, it is important to pay attention to other aspects of your personal appearance. If you have a number of piercings or visible tattoos, consider minimizing their prominence, if possible. If your hair is an artificially bold color, consider pulling it back or otherwise making it look as professional as possible.

Answers to Additional Questions

If you have questions about child custody, child support or other family law matters, please consider reaching out to our firm at any time. We are passionate about helping families find healthy, legally sound solutions to their challenges and we would be happy to speak with you. Consulting with an attorney does not obligate you to take legal action, but doing so will help to ensure that your decisions are supported and well-informed. Family legal disputes can be uniquely stressful challenges, but thankfully you do not need to navigate them alone. Please connect with our firm any time you are in need of legal guidance and support.