How To Dress For Attending A Court Hearing In Virginia?

man getting dressed in a tie

Attending a Virginia family court hearing has its own set of guidelines and best practices. Key strategies to meet the court’s expectations include, but are not limited to, being well-prepared, turning in all paperwork on time and in full, communicating openly with the court, and showing up for court on time. You may make sure you have the best chance of winning your case by adhering to these procedures. But a question that frequently remains unanswered is – “How should I dress for court?”

Family Court Etiquette: Presenting Your Best Self During Court Proceedings

You will probably need to appear in Virginia Family Court if you are having a divorce, adopting a child, or have legal issues regarding paternity, child custody, and support. Usually, one of the parties files a petition to start a family law lawsuit, stating their version of events and the remedy they are seeking. Following filing, the petition is served to both parties, and a preliminary hearing is typically set. In general, we advise clients to take the following actions:

  1. Arrive early for court: Being late for court is the last thing you want to happen since court judges do not appreciate lack of punctuality of the parties of a case.
  2. Dress modestly: It is recommended to dress professionally to honor the court. Clothes must be presentable and clean. If you want to win your case, you should dress as professionally as you can. At the very least, you must wear shoes and a shirt in the courtroom. Generally speaking, clothing should be devoid of holes, tears, and stains. To ensure you have enough time to get dressed appropriately and find the stuff you need, wash and iron your clothes the night before. Furthermore, using scissors to trim any slack threads can significantly alter the way your entire ensemble looks.
  3. Keep your kids at home, don’t get them to court: Generally speaking, the court does not appreciate parents bringing their kids to the court, especially if they are very young.
  4. Leave your phone in the car or turn it off: Judges have a common aversion to mobile phones being used or mobile phones ringing in the court.
  5. Preserve civility: Talk gently and control your emotions. Serious consequences may result from failing to do so.

Is it permissible to wear military uniforms in Virginia during criminal and/or family law court proceedings?

There is no specific prohibition under any statutes for military personnel in to not wear their military uniform while attending criminal court proceedings in their uniforms. Military service members may choose to wear their uniforms for suitable events, such as court appearances. However, it’s important that you ask your command how they would like you to present yourself on your court date.

What is not allowed in the courthouse?

The following items are prohibited inside most courthouses:

  • Weapons of any kind, including knives and firearms;
  • Electronics, including cellphones, camera and recording devices;
  • Chemical agents; and
  • Liquids (excluding baby formula and hand sanitizers size 2 ounces or less).

*Small lockers may be available to rent for the day (quarters required)*

Keep in mind that how you dress affects how you feel about the justice system. Respect the judicial system in Virginia when you appear in court, whether you are dressed in civilian clothes or a military uniform.

Another important strategy to increase your chances of getting a good result from your hearing or case, even if you look your best, is to have a trustworthy and skilled family law attorney at your side. Our experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel J Miller can make sure all the necessary components of your family law case are in place so you can concentrate on looking your best in court and taking care of your family.

Our experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel J Miller can assist you with any family law matter, divorce, custody dispute, juvenile law difficulties, among others. Contact us here to know more.

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