Among the many stressful aspects of divorce court, maintaining proper etiquette is just one thing to focus on. The impression you make on the judge will have an impact on the outcome, especially when it comes to child custody disputes. While your attorney should provide specific instructions based on the details of your case, The Balance also offers the following tips to ensure you present yourself and your case appropriately.
Whatever you do, don’t be late. This expresses a lack of respect for the court and its officers, which will be noted by the judge. Plan to be there at least 10 minutes early if possible. Not only does this look good, it also gives you time to do some last-minute conferring with your legal time. In the same respect, don’t argue or insult the judge, even if you feel as though you or your case is being misconstrued. The best course of action is to answer questions concisely and only speak when spoken to.
In terms of attire, steer clear of items that could be construed as too informal. Jeans, open-toed shoes, t-shirts, and other casual items will create a disrespectful air around you. Instead, wear clothes that would be fitting for a job interview or day at work. While you can wear headwear for religious reasons, leave the ball caps at home when the day of your trial finally arrives.
If you’re allowed to bring a cell phone into the court, make sure it’s turned off during the hearing. While some parents must bring their kids during the trial, they should be minded by a third party during the hearing. That way they can be taken from the courtroom if any behavioral issues arise.