This article was last updated: Jan 2nd, 2023
Divorce can be an overwhelming and foreign experience for those going through it. Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining, and thinking about going to court can cause anxiety. At some point during your divorce, you will need to appear in court. You may be wondering what you should wear to court and whether your choice of clothing in court matters. What you choose to wear to divorce court does matter. The experienced divorce attorneys at Divorce Concierge would like to provide you with some tips on what to wear to divorce court so you can prepare yourself.
Divorce Court is a Formal Environment
Divorce court is a formal environment. Judges and attorneys are required to wear business suits with jackets in many cases. When thinking about what to wear for divorce court, one of the best rules of thumb is to wear something you would wear on a solemn occasion. Consider what you would wear if you were going to a traditional church service or a funeral. If you are not sure what you should wear to divorce court, do not be afraid to ask your attorney. Your attorney has experience going to court and can help you understand what is appropriate to wear in your case.
Tips for Dressing for Divorce Court
Your appearance should be clean and respectful. Leave flashy watches and expensive jewelry at home. You should make sure to trim your hair, including your facial hair. Men with long hair should consider tying their hair back or making sure it is well-groomed and clean. When it comes to footwear, do not wear sandals, flip-flops, or any other type of casual sneakers or Footwear. We recommend wearing closed-toed shoes. If you are attending a child custody hearing, it is essential that you look like a responsible adult. Doing so will help you make your case to the judge.
What Should Women Wear to Divorce Court?
When appearing before a judge in court, women should wear a nicer shirt or blouse with a skirt or tailored pants. For a finished look, we recommend wearing a matching blazer. Wearing high-heeled shoes is acceptable, but avoid wearing stilettos. Wearing business casual flat shoes is also acceptable. A nice dress is another acceptable choice, but we do not recommend wearing a dress with bare shoulders. The goal is to appear clean, neat, and comfortable while showing respect to the judge and the seriousness of the proceedings.
Sometimes women ask us whether they should wear makeup to their divorce proceedings. We do not recommend wearing heavy makeup to make a statement. Try to tone everything down and have a more natural makeup look. Do not color your hair purple, green, pink, blue, or any other unnatural color before your divorce proceeding. In short, try to keep your appearance conservative when coming to divorce court. If you have specific questions about makeup or your appearance, we recommend discussing them with your attorney.
What Should Men Wear to Divorce Court?
If you are seeking custody of your minor children, it is important that you dress in a way that shows that you can hold down a job and provide for your children. For example, do not wear a t-shirt that promotes illicit drug use, has swear words on it, or is otherwise offensive. Do not wear jeans with holes in them. If you do have a suit and tie, you should wear your suit and tie. If you cannot afford a suit and tie, we recommend wearing khakis or slacks with a button-down shirt. Make sure you iron your clothing before you go to court.
Men should tuck their shirts in and wear a belt. If you do not have a blazer, suit coat, or sports coat, wear a long-sleeved button-down shirt, preferably with a collar. We recommend putting on a tie. Regarding shoes, you should wear oxfords, dress boots, dress shoes, or loafers. Whatever you choose to wear should be well maintained and cleaned, but it does not have to be brand new. The most important aspect of choosing your outfit is that you look well-groomed and responsible.
Avoid Wearing Jeans and Clothing with Obscenities
Now more than ever, workplaces are allowing employees to wear jeans to work. For many of us, wearing jeans has become common, even in more formal situations. We do not recommend wearing jeans to divorce court. However, it is better to wear business casual pants such as slacks or khakis. If you are going to wear jeans, make sure they are free of holes, stains, and presentable. Divorce courts are formal places, and things you might find appropriate for everyday wear may not be appropriate inside the courtroom. You should avoid wearing the following clothing items in divorce court, regardless of the reason you appear in court:
- Clothing that celebrates violence or has drug references
- Shirts with humorous slogans or obscenities
- Flip flops or sandals
- Stained clothing
- Clothing with holes or torn fabric
Can I Wear Piercings for Court?
Piercings are becoming more popular, but you should remove piercings before coming to divorce court when possible. If you have piercings on your tongue, cheek, nose, or elsewhere on your face, we recommend removing them. If you have large piercings, try to disguise them. Stretched earlobes can also be problematic.
About the Author
DIVORCE CONCIERGE is a Texas family law firm focused on providing an affordable and predictable alternative for clients who are going through an uncontested divorce. Their team is dedicated to helping clients experience a new, client-centered approach to the legal process.