an affidavit is the main method of presenting evidence in the family court
writing an affidavit
Parties who apply to a Family Law Court to resolve a dispute will need to prepare appropriate affidavits to prove their case. An affidavit is the main method of presenting evidence in the Family Court.
As such, an affidavit should be well thought out, a coherent and formal presentation of relevant facts, and it should support the orders you are seeking in your application or response. It must comply with Rules 15.08, 15.09 and 24.01 of the Family Law Rules 2004.
Filing an affidavit
The Family Court requires you to file an affidavit with an interim application, as a response and when you are directed by the Court. The Family Court has a blank affidavit form which can be used by applicants and respondents. You can get the forms from www.familycourt.gov.au, www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au, by calling 1300 352 000 or at your nearest family law registry. You must complete the form by typing.
You must ensure that you have sufficient copies of the affidavit for each party to the case and an independent children’s lawyer and for your own records. The completed and signed the original copy of the affidavit will be filed in court.
There is no filing fee to be paid.
Preparing an affidavit
You can prepare your own affidavit but it is always best to seek out professional legal advice. Court staff can assist you with inquiries related to the forms and the court process but cannot give legal advice.
You can refer to Part 15.2 of the Family Law Rules 2004 and Division 15.4 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 on what you can and cannot put in your affidavit. These can be accessed at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Home.
You must remember the following when writing your affidavit:
- Have enough space between the lines so that the affidavit is more readable.
- Do not use a fancy font. Use a standard font such as Arial or Times New Roman with a size 12 font.
- Divide the affidavit into paragraphs.
- Number the paragraphs.
- Keep the paragraphs short. Each paragraph should deal with one issue only.
- Use subheadings, when appropriate, to separate the issues in your affidavit.
Keep in mind that your affidavit must address relevant issues related to your case. If your application is about children, you should include pertinent information about children in your affidavit. If your application is about financial matters, then your affidavit should have facts about financial matters. If your application is about both, then your affidavit should be about both children and financial matters.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.