In family law cases, the image you present to the court matters. Family court judges have a limited amount of time to familiarize themselves with the merits of a case, so any information you introduce into the world of the court can be relevant. That being the case, you not only want to make strong arguments in a custody case or another family law matter, you want to present yourself in a fashion that supports those arguments.

Well, one New Jersey father recently presented a problematic (though likely factually accurate) portrayal of himself in a family law court. News sources report that a neo-Nazi father of three showed up at a custody hearing on June 3 dressed in full Nazi regalia.

Courts had previously denied custody to the swastika-clad father, and he was going before a judge to ask for visitation with his youngest son, just 18 months old. Apparently, the man had lost custody of his four children because of extensive reports of domestic abuse that could have created an environment that put the children at risk.

Of course, this is an extreme example; it’s hard to imagine much that would make a worse first impression on a judge that wearing a Nazi uniform into court. But as ridiculous as this father’s actions were if he was truly serious about getting to see his kids, his actions are a powerful reminder that appearances do matter in family court. Simply showing the judge you’re willing to dress appropriately for the occasion shows in some small way that you are willing to put your kids before your own fashion tastes.

Source: International Business Times, Dad Appears In Nazi Uniform For Child Custody Hearing, Heath Campbell Says ‘I Wanna Be A Father’, Zoe Mintz, June 3, 2013