Divorce often requires a series of meetings to determine custody, support, and the division of property and assets. There are several meetings that take place before you get a final divorce decree, even if you opt for an alternative dispute resolution process like mediation. The impression that you make at these meetings can have a strong impact on your results. Superficial decisions, like the clothes you wear or your posture, can influence your ability to negotiate from a place of power.

Review this list of dos and don’ts for dressing for mediation:

DON’T Take Your Appearance Lightly

Per Psychological Science, “a series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost your confidence in your judgments).”

In a mediation meeting, you want to communicate that you’re organized, responsible and capable. This means clean hair, light makeup for women, and (generally) a clean-shaven appearance for men. Your clothing should be neat and unwrinkled.

DO Go Business Casual

Mediation is a business meeting. You and your spouse are negotiating important matters about your children, your finances and your life. Dress business casual to set the tone that you are peaceful and effective. Show up looking like your opinion matters.

DON’T Skip Common Sense

Avoid arriving late, coming to the meeting after drinking or working out, or dressing provocatively (e.g. to make your ex jealous). Don’t let your clothes or your overall appearance or demeanor distract from the work at hand.

DO Come Prepared

Consult with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney before the mediation. The clearer you understand the process—and what you want from it—the easier it will be to behave naturally. Our qualified team can help you work through the process to get the results you need. Please get in touch today for a confidential consultation.

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Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper