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Choose attire carefully for child custody proceedings

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Child Custody

When you step into a Maryland courtroom to convince a judge that your children would be best off in your care following a divorce, you must demonstrate fitness and capability as a parent. Everything you do and say, in fact, even your appearance, will influence the judge’s decision. This is why it’s important to choose the attire you wear into the courtroom for child custody proceedings carefully.  

When it comes to courtroom attire, there are good and bad (sometimes, very bad) choices. If you wear something the court considers offensive, the judge may tell you to exit the room. An unkempt appearance, rather than a neat and clean one, may impede your chances of winning a custody case.  

What to wear for child custody proceedings 

The following list provides examples of appropriate clothing choices for Maryland court proceedings 

  • Clothing that fits right, not too baggy and not too tight 
  • Dress shoes with low heels 
  • Collared shirt and tie (and suitcoat) for men 
  • Skirt and business-style shirt for women 

If you could wear it to an important business meeting or job interview, you can likely wear it to court, as well.  

Do not wear these things into a Maryland courtroom 

The next list includes clothing items that will not make a positive impression on a judge who is determining whether you should have custody of your children in a divorce:  

  • Blue jeans 
  • Sneakers 
  • Shoes with stiletto heels 
  • Shirts or sweaters with plunging necklines 
  • Mini skirts 
  • Sleeveless tops 
  • Excessive piercings 

You’ll want to make sure to style your hair neatly. Shirts should not have any images or words on them. It’s best to wear attire that helps you present yourself as a capable, confident parent.  

Words and actions should align with clothing style 

In addition to your attire, a child custody judge will also monitor your manner of speech and behavior in a Maryland courtroom. If you appear to not have control over your emotions or actions, or you use profanity, the judge can hold you in contempt of court. Such behavior would not boost your chances of winning a custody case.  

Most courts post dress codes on their websites. If you’re preparing for child custody proceedings, you can check to see if the court you’re attending has done so. This takes the guesswork out of choosing attire for the courtroom. Your children’s best interests are the priority when you have requested custody in a divorce. Everything you do, say and wear will either work in your favor or against it. If you’re unsure of what to wear, you can seek guidance before heading to court. 

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