6 Tips About What to Wear and Do During Your Appearance in Court For Your Divorce

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Divorce court is a formal affair and public spectacle. Here are 6 tips about what to wear in court for your divorce, along with other advice on what you should and should not do in divorce court. What should you wear in divorce court?

  1. Dress modestly. Never wear anything sexually explicit, from low cut outfits to see through clothing. Avoid neon colors. Dress as formally for divorce court as you would for a job interview. If you do not have clothing at this level, you should at least wear business casual clothing.
  2. Groom well. It doesn’t matter if you were up all night crying or with the baby. Shower or bathe. Shave, if you are a man. Wear basic makeup to have a professional appearance. If possible, get a haircut a few days before.
  3. Dress your children appropriately for the event. Kids are kids, but they should be neat and clean if they are brought along. If possible, dress the kids in formal wear like their Sunday best.
  4. Dress to show you are a reasonable person. Your appearance really matters. Go with conservative clothing with classic lines. Don’t flash your money if you’re rich – there’s no advantage in doing that.
  5. The colors you wear matter. Each color has a message and purpose. Red is strong and aggressive. Blue is positive and conveys trust. Yellow shows confidence, emotion, friendliness and creativity.
  6. Wear the colors and clothing you look best in. Ask others for their opinions.

Be Careful About What You Wear

Be careful of the image that your clothing and accessories present. If you are demanding alimony because you say you cannot live off your income, be careful not to wear a fancy new hairdo, an expensive perm or a brand new set of designer nails. Do not say you cannot pay the requested level of child support while wearing a fancy watch or showy jewelry.

Conversely, if you are dressed in your work uniform, it is easier to state that you do not have the high income that your partner says you have. Talk to your attorney to determine what is acceptable and reasonable to wear in court.

Act Appropriately

Remember that behavior is an important part of your image in court. Do not chew gum in court. Never come to court drunk or stoned. Be respectful of the court. Do not blurt out accusations or insults. Do not curse in court. If possible, let your divorce attorney or legal representative do all of the talking.

If you are the better person in the divorce, such as not rising to take the bait and throw back a witty insult, the judge will take you more seriously.

What should you never do in divorce court?

Some Important “Do Not” Items:

Do not bring a new boyfriend or girlfriend to divorce court. And never bring someone who you were involved with to court or the person your ex-partner considers to blame for breaking you up.

  • Do not wear your wedding ring
  • Do not be garish or showy
  • Do not wear loud jewelry
  • Do not wear lots of jewelry
  • Do not wear lots of aftershave or fancy perfume. Mild perfume or aftershave is acceptable, but do not wear “his favorite” or “her signature” scent
  • Never wear your wedding dress to court. Men, leave the wedding tuxedo at home
  • Do not dress as if you are going to a funeral
  • Do not set out your cell phone. Don’t answer phone calls or text messages during the proceedings
  • Do not listen to a music player during the court case. Remember that if you are caught playing video games during your divorce or custody case, the judge could easily decide that the attentive parent is the better one

Some of these tips are obvious but they’re a good reminder. Use your head and get opinions from others that you trust.

Michael Bolinske is a Minneapolis divorce lawyer helping people get an amicable and fair divorce.


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