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How should I dress for my custody hearing?

While it might seem like an unimportant factor in winning a child custody case, how you dress on the day of the hearing can have a real impact on your chances of success. The clothes you wear will make an impression on the judge before you even begin speaking, which is why attorneys urge their clients to dress correctly. To help you do so, Very Well Family offers the following tips. 

Piercings & tattoos

Piercings and tattoos are hardly controversial these days. It even seems like more people have body modifications than do not, so it might not seem necessary to cover tattoos or remove piercings for your hearing. Keep in mind that not all judges are as forward-thinking as the general public. While modifying your body does not make you a bad parent, it can present an image of you to the court that's not totally accurate. In this case, make sure all tattoos are covered with either clothing or makeup. If you have facial piercings, remove them for your hearing. 


Would you wear flip-flops or sneakers for a job interview? If not, these pieces of footwear have no place within a court either. Focus on dress shoes that are conservatively styled and match the rest of your ensemble fairly well. Women should steer clear of towering high heels, while men should ensure their shoes are neat and free of scuffs and stains. While some open-toed shoes are still considered formal, it's best to stick with the closed-toed variety for this situation. 

Hair & makeup

If it's been a while since your last haircut, try to schedule a trim just before your hearing. In terms of styling, keep it neat and simple, leaving the big, dramatic styles for other occasions. In terms of makeup, women should use a conservative approach. Using garish colors or putting on too much makeup will ruin an otherwise respectable, put together look. If you have questions about what is and isn't appropriate, be sure to confer with your legal team. 

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