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Hofheimer Family Law Firm

How Should I Act In Court During A Child Custody Hearing? (Part A)

Going through a divorce is incredibly stressful, but dealing with the added emotions of a child custody dispute can easily become overwhelming. If you are currently filing for a Virginia divorce and you have children, you may be required to attend a Virginia child custody hearing to settle the issues of physical and legal custody of your child or children. It's important to take this hearing seriously, and carefully consider the way you look and act in court, in order to improve your odds of a favorable decision.

Facing the Judge in a Virginia Child Custody Hearing

The impression you make with the judge can be significant in your Virginia child custody case. This is when you need to be on your very best behavior and make any necessary adjustments to your look or mannerisms to present yourself as a mature, responsible parent.

There are several factors that you need to consider when facing a judge in a Virginia child custody hearing, such as: 

  • Appearance
  • Mannerisms
  • Communication  


Your Appearance in Court 

What you wear to your Virginia child custody hearing is extremely important. You may need to purchase a new outfit, borrow one or find something at a higher-end consignment store so that you can look your very best. You don't want to look sloppy or unkempt, but at the same time, you don't want to look as if you are attending a business meeting. You want to look as maternal as possible, which means staying away from dark power suits and opting for a knee-length skirt, soft-colored blouse and low heels, or the like. If you can wear pearl earrings and a necklace, real or fake, it adds a nice touch.

While it may sound unfair, your appearance tells the judge how serious you are about your child custody case, so it's important to dress the part to make that good first impression. 

You'll also need to make sure that you stay away from harsh or loud makeup; softer colors are best. Your hair should be brushed and arranged nicely.  Everything about your outward appearance should be kept clean, neat, and simple. It may seem that these are trivial things to worry about while your marriage is ending, but, fair or not, your appearance will play a huge part in the judge's opinion regarding your credibility and your abilities as a mother.

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Kristen Hofheimer
A passionate advocate and well known champion for women in divorce and child custody issues.