One of the questions we often get from people who are going to family court as a self-represented litigant or doing consent orders is “who can witness a Family Court Affidavit”

There are certain people who are able to do that for you. Scroll down for the list but first lets just clarify what an Affidavit is.

What is a Family Law Affidavit?

An affidavit is a written document that is prepared by someone who has a case in court or who is providing information to the court about their consent order application that doesn’t fit in one of the information boxes on the form.
 
An affidavit may also be prepared by a witness in a case to provide their evidence to the court if the case is going to trial.
 
An affidavit is a statement of facts that are relevant to the orders that you would like the court to make.
There is very limited opportunity to tell the judge your story and so most of the evidence in your court case will be given by affidavit. The affidavit must be provided “served” to the other party in the case so that they know what you believe are the facts and evidence before the court case.

When do I file an Affidavit?

In the Family Court, you need to file an affidavit with an interim application, response or when 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 or visit your nearest family court registry. Family Court of Australia Court Locations 

In the Federal Circuit Court, you need to file an affidavit with your application or response, for both interim and final orders, and when directed by the Court. The Federal Circuit Court has a blank affidavit form which can be used by applicants and respondents.You can get the forms from  www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au or visit your nearest Federal Circuit Court registry  Federal Circuit Court Locations

In the Family Court of Western Australia you need to file an affidavit with an application, response or when directed by the Court. The Family Court of Western Australia has a blank affidavit form which can be used by applicants and respondents. You can get the forms from www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/ or visit the Family Court of Western Australia or circuit location.

You should use the form that is relevant to the Court handling your matter.   

Can I prepare my own affidavit?

You can but it is probably smarter to consult a lawyer, even if you are self-represented. Affidavits are an important part of your family law case and a lawyer can advise you what information will be important to include in the affidavit.

Sometimes something you think is important isn’t relevant to your case.

Sometimes something you think is so obvious that you don’t even have to say it is really important to include in your Affidavit.

You might be able to get legal advice from a legal aid office, a community legal centre or a private law firm.
 
You should always ask the lawyer if they are an experienced family lawyer as the rules for family law are unique to those courts. Find a lawyer.

Signing the Affidavit

The person making the affidavit is called the deponent. The deponent must sign on the bottom of each page of the affidavit in front of an authorised person such as a lawyer or Justice of the Peace.

If you are overseas you will have to sign in front of a Notary Public or Australian Diplomatic or Consulate Officer.

 

Changes to the family courts.

The federal government is planning changes to the family court including reducing complexity by making forms such as affidavits the same for the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court. These changes have not come into effect at the time of writing this article in November 2018.

Other posts relevant to the Family Court


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