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Dress for success when seeking sole child custody

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Child Custody

When a Pennsylvania parent files for divorce, they must address numerous issues regarding the health, education and everyday care of their children. A family court makes custody decisions with children’s best interests in mind. In a case where one parent seeks sole child custody, the judge overseeing the case must be convinced that this arrangement is what is best for the kids.  

Any parent stepping into a courtroom to litigate a child custody case is going to make an impression on the judge, either positive or negative. The parent’s attire and overall appearance may influence the judge’s decision. Parents hoping for sole custody will want to dress in a professional, confident manner.  

Certain clothing and styles are not appropriate for child custody proceedings 

The following list includes types of clothing and styles that are not likely to produce positive results and may also cause a parent to be asked to leave the courtroom: 

  • Clothing with profane or offensive imagery or text 
  • Baseball caps or other hats 
  • Clothing or accessories with political slogans on them 
  • Excessively tight-fitting clothes 
  • Pants that sag below the waistline, exposing undergarments 

In addition to these styles, torn jeans, flip-flops, tennis shoes or any type of “street clothing” is not appropriate for the courtroom. Accessories and cosmetics should be minimal.  

Business casual styles are best for court 

Skirts or dresses that are to the knee or lower in length are best for women. Dress slacks are also fine. Avoid plunging necklines and stiletto heels. Men should aim for a professional style of dress, such as a button-down long-sleeved shirt and dress pants that are black, navy blue or gray. An attorney who has litigated child custody proceedings in a specific courtroom can provide guidance and recommendations as to appropriate (and inappropriate) styles of dress and appearance.