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Child custody: What should North Carolina parents wear to court?

When you decided to file for divorce, you undoubtedly understood that you'd have to resolve numerous legal issues regarding your children. Then, when you decided to request child custody, you may have begun to feel a bit anxious about court proceedings, especially if you've never been inside a North Carolina courtroom. 

If you've filed a petition for child custody, you must convince the judge overseeing your case that it's in your children's best interest to rule in your favor. What you wear to court will make an impression, and you want that impression to be a good one. This means there are certain types of clothing you'll want to avoid. 

Leave these items in your closet for child custody litigation

When appearing in court to request custody of your children in a divorce, you ultimately want the judge to rule that your children would be better off living with you than they would with your ex. It's a good idea to dress as though you are attending a business meeting. The following clothing choices and items are not likely to make a good impression on the judge:

  • Blue jeans, especially the kind with holes or tears in them
  • Pajama pants or athletic clothing
  • Sneakers or flip-flops
  • Stiletto heels
  • Shirts that are tight-fitting or have plunging necklines
  • Mini skirts

It's a good idea to try to imagine yourself as the judge. What impression might you have of a parent wearing a particular outfit to child custody proceedings?

Avoid extremes when it comes to accessories

Perhaps you feel liberated and want to try new things in your post-divorce lifestyle. When it comes to what to wear in court, you'll want to make sure your choices reflect a neat, clean and business casual appearance. Dress for success. Any style that may be viewed as extreme, rebellious or profane is to be avoided.

Maybe you've been enjoying your freedom and not having to look your best for another person every day. While that's understandable for someone who is newly divorced, if you show up to court with dirty or messy-looking hair, it might affect the ultimate outcome of your case, especially if the judge thinks you might not take proper care of your children because you look disheveled or unclean.

Don't hesitate to reach out for support

If you know someone who has recently gone through a North Carolina divorce, it might be a good idea to talk to him or her about clothing choices and what he or she wore to court for child custody proceedings. It's also okay to discuss such matters with a family law attorney who can make recommendations and provide support in all aspects of custody proceedings. 

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