Many of our clients have asked us the same question when they are preparing for court; “What should I wear?” While this isn’t a legal question, it is an important one.
First impressions are very important in family law court, and we have seen many people make poor ones. For instance, some individuals will dress up in designer clothing, while asking for support from their spouse. A judge who sees this might wonder – why are they asking for support when they are wearing more than they are asking for. Others appear in casual clothes or athletic wear – which clearly does not show the court or the process the respect it deserves.
To make the best first impression, use these guidelines to assist you when dressing for court.
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Select an outfit that makes you feel confident and represents you in a positive manner. It is not necessary to purchase shoes or jewelry you wouldn’t normally wear just because you think it will impress the judge.
Do not stress out
Avoid making unnecessary last-minute decisions about attire. Plan ahead and ensure your clothes are clean and ironed at least a day before your court date. First impressions are important, but they don’t hold a great deal of significance when it comes to winning your case.
Aim for the middle
Court attire should be professional, yet modest. It should not be too snug or too loose.
Formal wear and party wear are quite different
Clothing that is designed for a party on a Saturday night is generally not ideal for court. Cocktail dresses, jeans and collared shirts with short sleeves are not appropriate for this occasion.
Avoid furs and designer clothes
As previously mentioned, dressing too lavishly definitely makes a statement – however it may not be the statement you would like to make. Court is not a fashion show. There’s no need to purchase expensive clothing for the sake of appearances.
Dress for success
Think about what you would wear to a professional interview. Your court attire should resemble that outfit.
It is important to remember, your clothes will not make your case. Your case will be decided based on its merits. So while it is necessary to wear something appropriate to court, your outfit should not be your key concern.