How You Dress For Court Does Matter

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You have an important date and you want to make a good impression. It’s not exactly an evening date that you’ve had on your mind, but you still want to look your best. When you have a court date, whether it addresses driving violations in traffic court or the consequential business of family and civil court, or the weighty matters tried in criminal court, how you dress is important.

 

If you were stepping out on a first date with Mister or Miss Right, or you were going to interview for that highly competitive job opening, you would make sure everything about your physical appearance was as close to perfect as possible. So why wouldn’t you dress for an all-important court date? It could make the difference between winning and losing your case, which may be a life changer.

 

Whether you are a defendant, witness, juror, or just along as an observer, if you are going to be in the courtroom for any reason, the following unspoken dress code will suffice for any type court in just about any area of the country. In many areas some courts have a minimal dress code that court-goers are expected to comply with.

 

If a judge does not think you are dressed decently, he can order you to leave his courtroom. So, devote some time to selecting appropriate clothing to wear in court. The following will provide some good guidelines for appropriate courtroom attire. A basic rule of thumb is to dress conservatively and to keep it modest.

 

Think of court as a formal setting. A woman should wear either a suit, blouse and skirt or slacks or a simple dress with hose and a bra. The blouse or dress should not be too low cut; the skirt or dress not too tight or short. Shoes should be a medium to low heel and not some outrageous fad type footwear; they should never be open toed

 

A man should wear a dress suit or sports jacket and slacks. If you do not have a suit or jacket, at a minimum wear a nice pair of slacks and an ironed shirt and a tie. Dress shoes are best, not sneakers or work boots.

 

No type of hat or head apparel should ever be worn. Both men and women should take off their coats before entering the courtroom.

 

The following items are viewed as inappropriate courtroom attire and should always be avoided. While not necessarily banned in a courtroom, these items will make a less than favorable impression and may signal disrespect for the court. In some instances, the judge can require that you leave the court and not return until you are more suitably dressed.

 

  • shorts or cutoffs
  • tee shirts
  • halter tops
  • flip flops or sandals, sneakers
  • damaged or stained clothing
  • overly revealing garments
  • over-the-top, faddish hairstyles
  • heavy perfume

 

How you dress for your court date does say a lot about you, and the judge and any jurors will definitely notice, so dress accordingly.

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Settle Your Divorce Out Of Court And Save Money

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Almost half of marriages today end in divorce. Many end for one of the following reasons: high expectations that don’t materialize. One or both parties are unfaithful. You and your spouse are incompatible. You are rigid, meaning both of you want things your own way and cannot compromise. Lastly, there is an extreme lack of communication.

 

Although divorce for any reason is difficult and can be expensive, if you find yourself in the midst of a divorce because of a lack of communication or because your spouse is rigid or both, you will find the settlement phase especially difficult.

 

No matter how difficult it will be to agree on a settlement with your estranged spouse, your divorce will not be final until all five of the following issues are resolved. Three of these issues concern your children: Child Custody, Child Support, and Visitation.

 

The fourth area is Division of Marital Property, and the fifth is Alimony. Regardless of whether you settle out of court or go to trial, these issues must be resolved before your divorce is final.

 

Of course, if you go to court, there will be a winner and a loser, or it would appear. In monetary terms, however, due to attorney fees and other expenses, winning may cost you a lot of money, not to mention the emotional cost, especially if you have children together.

 

In addition to high court costs, you may have to take time away from work. On the other hand, if you are a full-time homemaker, at the very least, going to court will interrupt your daily routine and activities.

 

If you have children, this interruption could be a major consideration, plus the fact that you will be spending your children’s college money. Consider also that attorney fees required for trial and expert witnesses may climb into the thousands of dollars.

 

Just getting to trial may take a long time for reasons out of your attorney’s control. Remember, too, that a judge may not render a ruling but take your case under advisement, which could be for weeks or months. There is also the appeals process, which means paying more lawyer fees.

 

At the end of a trial, one party wins and one party loses. The judge is constrained by the legislature in how he must rule, whereas you can be a lot more creative in crafting an agreement than a judge can.

 

For these reasons you should try to settle out of court, especially if your finances are not ideal. Following are some popular alternatives to divorce court.

 

  • Alternative dispute resolution — Parties employ the services of a neutral third party. Cases are private and resolved fairly quickly with less hostility.

 

  • Divorce mediation — Parties work together with a neutral third party, or mediator, who facilitates and evaluates the settlement sometimes with input from a divorce attorney.

 

  • Divorce arbitration — Parties select a neutral third party, called an arbitrator, who makes a decision on the divorce, instead of a judge, which expedites the procedure.

 

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