Evidence in family law matters is usually given by way of affidavit. It’s therefore important to make sure your affidavit complies with the rules, so your evidence is not “struck out”.
Here’s a standard checklist to make sure your affidavit is compliant with the rules:
- Check you are using the correct form. You can download the form from the court’s website (check you have the correct court).
- Make sure it is signed properly and sworn/affirmed before an eligible witness (e.g. lawyer, Justice of the Peace).
- Check all anenxures are labelled property. It’s always a good idea to have page numbers marked clearly.
- The content of your affidavit must comply with the rules of evidence – the content must be relevant and must comply with the hearsay rule and the opinion rule (note exceptions apply). For example, instead of saying “he threatened me”, you should say, “he said to me words to the effect, ‘XYZ’.”
- It’s important to stick to the facts.
- Be specific.
- Be concise.
- Always include dates.
- Make sure that your affidavit covers all of those matters that the court should and may consider in hearing the application. Make sure that you have included everything that you need to support the orders you want.
- Your affidavit is your sworn evidence to the court. You must always tell the truth.
If you need help with preparing an affidavit, or if you’d like a lawyer to review a draft, please don’t hesitate to contact Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.