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Before you start preparing your Affidavit, you must know what orders you want the court to make. The purpose of your Affidavit is to persuade the court to make the orders you are seeking. It is your evidence.
It is important to have a plan as your Affidavit will include a lot of information the court needs to grant a Divorce Order. If you don’t include all the relevant information, the court may adjourn or dismiss your Application for Divorce.
Before you start writing your Affidavit, you may want to plan:
It is important that your Affidavit is easy to read so the court can understand what you are trying to say. To do this:
You should only include information that is relevant to the orders you want the court to make. The court can’t consider irrelevant or unnecessary information. If you include too much irrelevant or unnecessary information in your Affidavit, the court may refuse to read it.
Examples of relevant information you should include:
Examples of irrelevant information that you shouldn’t include:
If you are making a sole Application for Divorce, you need to file an affidavit.
If you are filing a joint Application for Divorce, your spouse will also need to prepare an Affidavit. Either you or your spouse will be applicant one and the other person will be applicant two.
You may also need to get an affidavit from a Third Party.
If you can’t get a copy of your Marriage Certificate, in the Affidavit you file with your Application for Divorce, you will have to explain:
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit in lieu of Marriage Certificate
Sample: Affidavit in lieu of Marriage Certificate
If, after separating, you and your spouse continued living in the same house, you can still apply for a divorce once you have been separated for at least 12 months.
In the Affidavit you file with your Application for Divorce, you will have to explain:
If you are filing a sole Application for Divorce, you should file:
If you are filing a joint Application for Divorce, you should file:
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit – Separation under one roof
Sample: Affidavit – Separation under one roof
The third party who prepares an Affidavit may be asked to go to the hearing to confirm their evidence.
Instructions: Instructions for completing a third party Affidavit – Separation under one roof
Sample: Third party Affidavit – Separation under one roof
If a third party doesn’t understand or can’t complete this Affidavit, they should get legal advice.
If you and your spouse have been married less than two years, you will need to get a Counselling Certificate to file with your Application for Divorce.
If you are unable to attend counselling with your spouse, you must ask the court’s permission to apply for a divorce. To do this, you must include in the Affidavit you file with your Application for Divorce an explanation of:
Alternatively, you can wait until you have been married for more than two years before you apply for a divorce.
Your safety is important. If you feel unsafe or are experiencing any violence, contact the police, a domestic violence counsellor or get legal advice.
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit – Marriage less than 2 years non-filing of counselling certificate
Sample: Affidavit – Marriage less than 2 years non-filing of counselling certificate
If you don’t understand or can’t complete this Affidavit or have concerns about what to include, you should get legal advice.
If your surname on your Application for Divorce is different from your married or maiden names, you must:
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit – Change of name
Sample: Affidavit – Change of name
If you don’t understand or can’t complete this Affidavit, you should get legal advice.
Before you start writing your Affidavit, you should get all the documents you want to attach.
For more information, see Getting your supporting documents.
You must use the correct form to write your Affidavit.
To download an Affidavit form, see Affidavit on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
When you are preparing your Affidavit you must:
Don’t include any information or documents that suggest or prove you have committed a criminal offence. This can be used as evidence against you later if you are charged. If you are not sure what to include, you should get legal advice.
Your Affidavit should be:
Don’t sign your Affidavit until you are ready to have it witnessed.
Where you can support the facts in your Affidavit with a document, you must attach a copy of the document to your Affidavit, for example photos, letters or emails. These attached documents are called annexures.
To include documents in your Affidavit:
Make sure the documents you attach to your Affidavit are clear and easy to read. If they are not, the court may not consider them, or they may ask you to provide another copy.
Don’t include original documents in your Affidavit - only attach photocopies. The documents you file become the courts property. You will not be able to get them back once your case in finished.
You must swear (religious oath) or affirm (non-religious oath) that the contents of your Affidavit are true.
You must sign, and have each page of your Affidavit witnessed, by a Justice of the Peace or lawyer. You must also get any annexures witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or lawyer.
For more information about where to find a Justice of the Peace, see Finding a JP on the Department of Communities and Justice website.
To fix any error(s) in your Affidavit, cross out the error(s) and write your initials next to your change(s). The person witnessing your Affidavit must also write their initials next to each change.
If you are unsure what to write in an Affidavit, or what documents to attach, you should get legal advice.