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Give yourself a better chance at custody with these in-court tips

When you're a parent who has to fight for custody of their child, you want to do everything you can to appear professional and respectful in court. Doing so makes you look like a better parent and encourages the court to give you what you want based on how you present yourself.

Of course, there are other factors that play a role in your case, but there are a few things you can do that will help you discredit claims against you and make yourself appear better in court.

1. Dress the part

The first thing you need to remember is that you should dress the part. You don't want to come to court looking sloppy or disheveled. Never wear things like sandals, flip-flops, hats, pajamas or sweat pants. These items make it look like you didn't put effort into looking appropriate for court, which means you might not make an effort in other parts of your life.

2. Don't speak out of turn

One thing judges hate is when they have to keep silencing one of the parties in court. Do not interrupt the judge, and do your best to be respectful when you are spoken to. Yelling, screaming or other inappropriate behaviors can quickly lose you the opportunities you're seeking from the court.

3. Always be early

Nothing is worse than someone who is late to court. It delays the court hearing or trial and can make the judge angry. Being late shows you're not planning in advance and it can indicate that you're not taking the court date seriously. Would you be late picking up your kids? Would you sleep in and forget to take them to school? This is what runs through a judge's mind when you can't make it to court on time.

4. Be prepared

Finally, be prepared. Your attorney can talk to you about the documents that the judge is likely to want, and you should be prepared with them in hand. If there are topics you want to address in court, write them down and be ready to support your claims. Fumbling through paperwork doesn't look good, so do your best to look prepared when you're in front of the judge.

These are four things you can do that will help you look better in the eyes of the judge. Simply looking put together and acting respectfully can significantly help your case.

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