The way you act and appear in court matters

Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP

In a family law courtroom, one of the most important things for you to do is to dress and act the part of a parent who is responsible and caring. If you are responsible and want to protect your children, you may think that the way you appear will have little impact based on the evidence involved in the case, but the reality is that first impressions matter.

When you come to court, it’s extremely important that you dress in a conservative, appropriate way. Doing so is following the rules of courtroom etiquette. It also shows that you can follow rules and be respectful of the court’s wishes.

What is considered appropriate attire for court?

For men, conservative, professional attire for court includes nice slacks, dress shoes, a collared shirt, a tie and a jacket if you have it. Your hair and beard (if you have them) should be well-kept.

For women, there is the option of wearing dresses, usually at least knee-length, knee-length skirts, blouses, collared shirts, dress shoes, jackets and slacks. Essentially, you want to consider the courtroom as a formal work environment, so any formal business attire will do.

How should you act in court?

On top of the way you dress in court in court, your actions in court matter. It’s important to:

  • Wait your turn to speak
  • Be respectful when others are speaking
  • Stand when asked or be seated when asked
  • Avoid using slang or curse words
  • Refer to the judge politely, as informed by your attorney

Our website has more on family law and court so that you can learn what to do if you have to appear.

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