What Should I Wear when I Go to Court?


Most of the time, we live our lives by script.

What I mean is you know how to act, what to do, and how to look in any given situation because you’ve been in that situation thousands of times.

There’s a certain way you talk and dress when you go to McDonald’s. Your behavior and clothes are different when you go to church, or to the office (I hope, at least). You talk about certain things when you go to the gym to lift weights, and those things are different than when you’re at an orchestra concert.

We become so used to our scripts that we don’t even think about them after a while. You just know how to dress for your job or for a date with your wife.

Divorce — No Script

And then you find yourself dealing with divorce.

We have no script for divorce. No one knows how to handle things. How to talk. How to act. What to do. There’s no how-to manual for this stuff.

Divorce requires a guide, someone to help you write a script to follow.

That person is (or should be) your divorce attorney. You attorney should let you know how the divorce process works, how it works legally, how it works emotionally, and how it works financially. Look for an attorney who teaches you and helps you write your script.

Part of Your Divorce Script: How to Dress for Court

One important part of any divorce script should include how to dress for court.

(Note: honestly, you probably won’t go to court. I’m not sure about the exact numbers, but less than half of the divorces we help our clients with ever end up in front of a commissioner or judge. That means over 50% (probably far in excess of 50%, actually) of our divorces ever see the inside of a courtroom.)

But, if you do go to court, you need to have a game plan about what to wear.

Here is what we tell our clients: dress like you’re going to church or to a funeral. You want to treat this like it’s one of the most important events in your life — because it is. Show this event, and the court, the most respect possible.

If you’re a man, wear a suit and tie. If you don’t have a suit and tie, that’s fine, wear your best clothes, but the closer those clothes are to a suit and tie, the better. And, please, no sandals.

If you’re a woman, wear a dress (skirt a blouse is fine) or a pant suit. Conservative colors and fashion. Covered shoulders and no short skirts. Please, no crazy designs or wild colors. You can make a splash at Mardi Gras another time.

Last Thought

One last piece of advice: if, when you’re picking out clothes to wear for court, and you think to yourself, “Is this appropriate for court?” don’t wear it.

If you’re not 100% sure it’s appropriate for court, choose something else.

Published On: May 24th, 2017Categories: CourtComments Off on What Should I Wear when I Go to Court?
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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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