If you’re heading to family law court, it’s important that you practice good courtroom etiquette. Not only is this polite, but practicing good etiquette also can aid in a case decision being made in your favor. The following provides a review of the rules of the courtroom and techniques for practicing good courtroom etiquette.

Refrain from Bringing in Prohibited Items

Perhaps the biggest rule of court etiquette, as well as one of the most important legal requirements, is to refrain from bringing in any prohibited items, including weapons of any kind, certain tools, sharp instruments, chemicals and incendiary devices and other miscellaneous items.  The full list of items prohibited from the King County Courthouse can be found at KingCounty.gov.

Dress Appropriately

While not all courts in Washington State have dress codes that must be followed, some of them do. The San Juan County Superior Court, for example, has developed a dress code that requires all men and women to wear shirts, dresses, skirts and tops, pants, trousers and shoes (depending on gender). The dress code also prohibits shorts, halter-tops, tank tops, hats, caps, torn clothing, clothing with profane language and flip-flop sandals. To ensure that you’re within the dress code, always dress professionally, modestly and appropriately.

Be Respectful and Keep Noise to a Minimum

Being respectful to others within the courtroom, especially the judge who is overseeing the proceedings, is an especially important part of courtroom etiquette. In addition to being respectful, keeping noise to a minimum is also important. For this reason, children are rarely permitted in the courtroom unless specifically requested by a judge.

Which courtrooms do the rules of courtroom etiquette apply to?

Courtroom etiquette applies to all courtrooms throughout the state of Washington, as well as all types of family law situations, including the following:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody hearings
  • Child support determinations
  • Spousal maintenance determinations
  • Asset division
  • Paternity cases
  • Domestic violence

If you have questions about what your etiquette should be in one of the family law cases mentioned above, an attorney can help you prepare for your day in court.

A Family Law Attorney Can Help You Prepare for Court

If you’re facing a family law situation and will be appearing in court, it’s important that you prepare yourself. To help you understand what will happen during a court hearing, what you should expect and how you can practice good etiquette, call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny. We can meet with you now – reach us at (425) 460-0550 or visit our contact page.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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