What to wear for child custody litigation

When you file for divorce in a Colorado court and you happen to be a parent, there will be numerous issues that you and your spouse must resolve before you can go your separate ways. If you disagree about child custody, the family court judge overseeing your case can make decisions on your behalf. In such cases, what you wear to court may have a significant influence on the judge’s decisions.

Keep it clean, neat and conservative

In your personal life, you might enjoy showing off your unique fashion sense and style. In a child custody hearing, however, the judge must be convinced that you are taking the proceedings seriously and that your children would be better off living with you than your co-parent.

It’s best to avoid ripped jeans, multiple piercings, dramatic make-up, or tight-fitting clothing with plunging necklines and stiletto heels. A child custody hearing is also not the time and place to relax in your pajama pants.

Think “business casual” and go from there

If you were attending an important business meeting or job interview, what would you wear? Chances are that similar clothing would be a viable option for a courtroom appearance. It’s helpful to stick with neutral tones and colors, such as navy blue, beige, black and gray. Limit shoes to a low pump heel or flat and avoid wearing shirts that have images or words on them.

When you stand before the judge to request custody of your children, you’ll want to be able to support your request with convincing evidence that you are a responsible adult who can provide for the needs of your children. For this reason, choosing attire that more formal than what you might wear to the mall or to a local pub is an asset to your case.

When in doubt, visit the court’s website or ask someone

It’s possible that the Colorado court you’ll be appearing in for child custody litigation might have a website that includes information regarding a dress code. It’s helpful to review such a site before choosing an outfit when your court date arrives.

It’s also helpful to speak to someone who has been through similar circumstances in the past or who is well-versed on state child custody guidelines and courtroom etiquette. Just as you might have an edge over your competitors in a business presentation where you’re bidding for the same project, carefully choosing what you wear to court might give you the upper hand in a child custody case as well, especially if your ex shows up in jeans with holes and a tee shirt with a rock band on display.