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Advice for filing your affidavit properly

An affidavit is a sworn statement filed in court to be used as evidence in a court proceeding. It differs from a statutory declaration, which is not used as evidence in court. An affidavit can be filed by a witness or a party to the proceeding.

As with all legal documents, there are certain formal requirements that must be followed when filing an affidavit. When initiating or responding to Family Law Application, it is necessary to file an affidavit and you may have to do so multiple times.

Continue reading to find out what you should do when filing your affidavit!

Advice for filing your affidavit properly

Formal requirements

You must swear or affirm your affidavit in front of a legal practitioner or a Justice of the Peace. You can choose to swear a religious oath.

If you are not religious, you must make an affirmation that the contents of your affidavit are correct and true. Making false statements in your affidavit is perjury and will result in legal consequences.

The affidavit should be one-sided, and it is required for you to print you initial at the bottom of every page and sign the final one. If you are a non-English speaker, you must have the affidavit read to you in a language you can understand, with the interpreter signing a declaration that they have done so.

Don’t overdo the attachments

Any attachments you wish to include must be stated in the affidavit and marked as annexures, which are numbered in a sequential order. The attachments themselves must then be labelled.

Remember not to overdo the attachments – stick to what is necessary to the affidavit. Having unhelpful attachments is highly discouraged.

Structure it properly

Your affidavit should set out the evidence you are providing as clearly as possible. This is so that the parties who will have to interpret it will be able to understand your point of view and the facts you are presenting.

Structuring your affidavit chronologically is generally the best way to present your evidence. Having a clear format and include only relevant events are good tips to follow.

Be comprehensive

Advice for filing your affidavit properly

Making general statements without having the evidence to support it is highly discouraged. Your affidavit should state specific events and occurrences that have happened, to show the validity of such statements.

Rather than talking about constant occurrences in a general matter, provide the details of each occurrence, such as date and time, in a chronological manner.

Do not include opinions or legal submissions in your affidavit! Stick to facts and evidence, which are the basis of such opinions and submissions. If your affidavit supports your case well, your opinion and legal submission should already be implied in your presentation of facts.