An affidavit is an important piece of evidence in family law court proceedings. It is a written statement of the facts known to the complainant, respondent or witness.
It is the primary evidence in family law cases that reach the court. Proceedings are held in an efficient manner to provide a fast remedy to the parties. Sometimes the court will find that the affidavit is sufficient testimony for the party or his witness and he need not recount anymore in the witness stand all that is stated in the affidavit. The affidavit will be one of the bases by which the court will ask questions and decide what orders to make, and it will also be the basis for the other party to ask cross-examination questions.
It is made by an applicant or complainant who is asking orders from the court. It is also executed by the respondent or the person against whom orders are sought. The testimonies of the witnesses of both complainant and respondent must also be through an affidavit.
An affidavit must only include information that is true and personally known to the affiant. An affidavit is sworn before a person authorized to take oaths. Perjury is committed if an affiant does not state the truth under oath. If the information is known by another person, then that person must become a witness and make an affidavit.
Opinions and information that is out of one’s knowledge must be excluded. The exception to this particular rule is if the affiant is an expert witness like a licensed valuer, psychologist, psychiatrist, accountant and doctor.
The complainant or witness must state only relevant information to the case. The statements of the affiant must support the orders or remedy that are being asked by the court.
Documents that are mentioned in the affidavit must be attached as annexure. The annexure must bear the attestation by an authorized person that the document attached is the same one that is being referred to in the affidavit.
The affiant must sign every page of the affidavit. At the end of the document the affiant must sign on top of his complete name, and he must do so in the presence of an authorized person like a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace. The authorized person must also sign on top of his name and state his occupation. Then the date and place of signing must also be stated.
There are available forms with the court, but you can also make your own. Make it as detailed as possible. Outline the statements by using numbers and headings. Make sure that there are separate paragraphs per issue.