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How Should I Dress for My North Carolina Court Date?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law |

What should you wear when you have a court hearing in your North Carolina divorce or family law case? It’s more important than you may think. Judges have certain expectations for how people should dress for court, and it’s good to know what those expectations are.

According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, “Dress to show respect for the court. Some courtrooms have specific dress codes for parties appearing in court. Temperatures in courtrooms can vary, so dress in layers to ensure that you are comfortable.”

Just as important, how you dress sends a message. The message you want to send is a serious one: I am here, respectfully, to listen to the judge, behave calmly, and tell the truth. It all comes down to respect for the proceedings and the court.

Some Dos and Don’ts of Dressing for Court

Try to dress in business attire if you have it. For men, that ideally means a suit and tie. For women, it means a conservative dress or pantsuit. Those are not the only options, however. Here is generally what we’re going for:

  • No jeans
  • No hats
  • Nothing sexy
  • Dress shoes
  • If no jacket, a long-sleeved shirt
  • Neat and clean
  • Nothing torn
  • Nothing trendy
  • Nothing with a slogan or political message on it

Remember, this hearing is important to you. You may be asking the judge to grant you more time with your children, for example. You want to be seen as a competent adult who understands what is at stake and has full respect for the judge and court process.

What Else Should I Know About Going to Court?

The North Carolina Judicial Branch has some good tips for preparing for court. Foremost among them, perhaps, is to arrive at court early. Give yourself extra time for any traffic delays and parking considerations. It’s best to be there at least a half-hour before your hearing is scheduled to begin – or earlier, if your lawyer wants to go over anything before the hearing.

Be prepared to be there for several hours. You can sit and listen to the other cases or do something quiet like reading. Do not get on your phone in the courtroom. Turn it off altogether. Overall, sit respectfully and wait until it is your turn to come forward.

If you are unsure of what to expect, talk to your attorney. They can tell you exactly what will happen on the day of your hearing.

Be Fully Prepared for Your Day in Court

If you have an upcoming court date in North Carolina for a divorce or family law matter, don’t take chances with how you present yourself. Dressing appropriately for court demonstrates respect for the legal process and may influence how you are perceived.

An experienced family law attorney understands the significance of making a good impression in court. Do not go it alone in your North Carolina court case. Choose a compassionate attorney who will go the extra mile for you and your family during a divorce or other family law matter.


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