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Dress for success in a child custody case

If you’re a North Carolina parent who recently or is currently navigating a divorce, your children’s well-being is no doubt one of your highest priorities. Like most parents who file for divorce, you understand that the changes it brings will disrupt your children’s lives, but you are determined to help them adapt to a new lifestyle in the least stressful way possible. If you’re going to request full child custody, there are several key issues you’ll want to think about, including the clothing choices you make when heading to court.

Clothing might initially be the last thing on your mind when considering your and your children’s needs regarding child custody issues. However, the way you dress for court is going to make an impression on the judge who is overseeing your case. If your goal is to receive full custody of your kids, you’ll want that impression to influence the court in a positive way.

Clothing styles to avoid when appearing in court

You might consider yourself a “to each his own” type person when it comes to clothing choices. If you want to convince a family court judge that living with you full time after divorce is in your children’s best interests, then it’s wise to keep in mind that child custody proceedings are not the place or time to show off your unique, trendy or eclectic fashion sense. In fact, it’s best to avoid the styles included in the following list when you’re in a courtroom:

  • Tight-fitting clothes
  • Low-cut dresses or shirts
  • Miniskirts or dresses that are inches above the knee
  • Clothing with words or images on it
  • Blue jeans, especially jeans with rips or holes
  • Pajama pants
  • Sneakers
  • Excessive amounts of jewelry or cosmetics
  • Stiletto heels

In addition to these fashion styles, which are not conducive to making a positive impression in court, it’s also best to keep facial hair and the hair on your head neat and clean, rather than having an unkempt appearance.

Clothing choices that are well-suited for the courtroom

If you’re a parent who is requesting full custody of your children, you’ll want the judge to know that you’re capable of providing the care and love your kids need, in order to move on in life in a safe and healthy manner, after your divorce. This next list includes clothing choices that help parents make a positive impression during child custody proceedings:

  • Business-casual style clothing
  • Neutral colors, such as beige, navy blue or gray
  • Flat dress-casual shoes or shoes with a low heel
  • Clothing that is not overly tight or baggy
  • Collared, button-down shirts
  • Blazers or business-style jackets

Your clothing should demonstrate that you understand the importance of child custody proceedings and the solemn atmosphere of a courtroom. A family court judge is carefully observing and listening to both parents, including their personal appearances, when determining what’s best for children in a specific divorce case.

Always check the court’s website before child custody proceedings

In many states, including North Carolina, local courts will publish a dress code on their websites. When you’re preparing for child custody proceedings, it’s a good idea to visit the website of the court you’ll be attending to check whether there’s any mention of courtroom attire. If there is, it’s best to adhere to the recommendations.

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