What is an affidavit?

If you are filing a case in a court, you may be required to file and present an affidavit. An affidavit serves as a formal written statement that sets out the facts and evidence of your case. It is an official way of presenting evidence to a court.

Affidavits must be affirmed, sworn, or signed, usually before a Commissioner of Oaths, Justice of the Peace, or Solicitor, to uphold its authenticity and be termed as a true record.

Any affidavit you file in support of your case must be served to all relevant parties. They may also be affirmed by other people who are supporting your case, such as witnesses.

Why do you need an affidavit?

Affidavits present facts that support your case. In other words, they are used to present evidence of your case. Oral (spoken) evidence is only permitted by the Judge; therefore, all your facts should be presented in a written form in affidavits.

For example, in support to a child support application, the applicant must also file affidavits that provide information of incomes, payments, and related expenses that may influence a child support case.

In case of a divorce, both spouses are expected to file an affidavit during the divorce proceeding that states that the information is true and can be used for legal purposes.

What do you write about?

Being a statement of facts, an affidavit should include all the evidence and facts that back up your claims. If your affidavit is accompanying an application, it should support all the orders you are requesting a Family Court to make. It should contain the evidence your case is relying on.

In other words:

  • Tell the truth because if the judge has doubts about your affidavit, they will not accept your evidence
  • Highlight the facts you have first-hand knowledge of
  • Only include relevant things related to your case

Do and Don’ts of writing affidavit statements

Do:

  • Use plain language
  • Keep your details short and precise
  • Only include information that is connected to the case

Don’t

  • Express opinions and conclusions. For instance, instead of writing something in the lines of “ X was drunk before he arrived at the house”, go for “X strongly smelled of alcohol and was staggering when arriving at the house”
  • Portray your feelings or reactions and avoid arguments.
  • Make accusations

Child support and divorce affidavits are important pieces of documents. You may need to seek the legal advice of a divorce lawyer to help you drafting affidavits supporting your case.

 

Last updated on August 1st, 2019 – Written by Jeremy Maspero

Jeremy Maspero is a family law lawyer with a diverse range of experience and skills. With the experience you need and results you want, contact Jeremy today for a consultation to understand how he can help you on 02 8052 3322 or jeremy@masperolegal.com.au.