What Is An Affidavit

An affidavit used for many purposes. They are generally however, used by courts and attorneys and describe certain information regarding your case at hand.  It’s main purpose is to present a platform for your attorney to present evidence on your behalf in a case. Affidavit’s may also be sworn upon by people such as witnesses or experts in a case that puts forth their truth in regards to the evidence presented. Any affidavit filed in court is served to all parties in the court.

Why Would You Need To Use An Affidavit?

Affidavit’s are used by attorney generally to save a good amount of time and money in relation to legal proceedings.  Many jurisdictions also require them in certain cases. This is especially true when it comes to family law matters, estate planning issues, bank documents, and insurance issues as well. Overall, they are important because they present facts your case relies upon. This evidence is prime, as oral evidence (what you say in court) is only usually able to be allowed in if the judge permits it to be.

How Is an Affidavit Made Binding and Legal?

For such a document to be binding and legal it must be signed by the person promising that its facts are true. It usually must also be signed in the presence of a notary public.

When Do You File A Affidavit With The Court?

They are usually filed when a judge requires it or during the process of discovery. Most courts issue you or your attorney a blank affidavit form that you fill out to the best of your knowledge. Many of these forms can be found on the courts homepage site.

What Should Be Included In Your Affidavit? 

Since the affidavit is a statement of facts it usually includes everything that occurred in the event at issue or information leading up to that event. Of course there can not be additional or misleading information in the document. It should basically set out the opinion of the person certifying that the events happened the way they said they did. The document itself does not have to be very lengthy it only must put out the facts as you see them. Make sure all information is relevant.

What You Should Not Include In Your Affidavit 

Do not include anything related to your personal opinion. The document should solely be based upon substantial relevant facts. Also do not rely on hearsay evidence in your affidavit as well. Nor should you refer to anything based on external documentation that will not be produced at court. Any information regarding settlement talks should also be eliminated.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Prepare My Affidavit? 

Technically no. You can prepare it yourself. However, an affidavit that is appropriate for court and gives you the best chance of being successful should be drafted by your attorney. If you however wish to do your own, make sure it is without spelling errors and typed with coherent language.

How Should A Affidavit Appear, What Are the Formalities? 

An example of a blank affidavit page can be found here.

  • Typed
  • Double spaced
  • 12 point font
  • One-sided
  • Numbered Paragraphs
  • Divided into Sections
  • Separate Heading for each Section

Most Common Types of Affidavits

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