Peaceful Divorce

A article by Lalia Wilson


So, you are scheduled for mediation, and do not know what to wear.  Here are some ideas.


Start out with good grooming: recent bath or shower and conservative hairstyle.  Men, especially, may want to visit the barber before their appearance at mediation, as men’s hair styles need more frequent cutting than most female hairstyles.


Then how you dress is related to where the mediation will take place.  If you are mediating in a downtown office building or the court, dress like you would dress for court—in formal business attire.


If you are mediating in a suburban office, non-profit, or public building, probably the best way to dress is business casual.  This is a more relaxed and comfortable style of dress, but it is not what you would wear on the beach or to cut the lawn!  Here are some guidelines.


Wear long trousers, such as chinos, and a shirt with sleeves.  Women have the option to wear a dress or skirt, close to knee length or longer.  Both sexes want to cover up tattoos and piercings.  Women should avoid showing cleavage, and all peek-a-boo styles, including skirts with slits that extend above the knee.


Avoid head coverings, with the possible exception of religious headgear.  If you practice a religion that requires headgear, remember that wearing that headgear to court or mediation will indicate your religion to the officials, activating any biases they have on the matter.  For similar reasons avoid wearing slogans on your clothing that indicate a political or religious preference or are vulgar or insulting to others.  This may prejudice even mediators against your case!


Wear footgear that supports your foot and allows you to walk freely, as you will be walking into the mediation building from wherever you parked.


Finally, dress so that you can add or subtract a layer.  Many mediation rooms I’ve worked in had the AC on too cold in summer—you needed a sweater—and too warm in winter—you needed to take your sweater off.  Plan to be flexible regarding interior temperature.  It might be the same as what you have at home, it may not be.


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