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How to Write a Family Law Affidavit

How to Write a Family Law Affidavit in 7 Easy Steps


learning how to write a family law affidavit is a crucial step in all Australian family law cases, serving as a sworn statement by a parent or guardian involved in a legal claim or defense related to child custody.

In this guide, you will learn the step-by-step process of writing a comprehensive and effective family law affidavit to support your case for temporary child custody.

Following the correct procedures and guidelines is essential to avoid perjury charges and ensure the admissibility of the affidavit in court.

Step 1: Understand the Purpose and Requirements of a Family Law Affidavit

An affidavit in family law is a sworn written statement used as evidence in court proceedings related to family matters such as child custody. In the Australian legal system, a family law affidavit serves as a crucial tool for presenting your case and providing firsthand accounts of relevant events or circumstances.

Family Law Affidavit, legal requirements for Affidavit for Child Custody

Here’s what you need to know about family law affidavits in Australia:

  1. Definition: A family law affidavit is a document that outlines the facts and details of your case, including any evidence you have regarding your child’s best interests.
  2. Purpose: The main purpose of a family law affidavit is to present information to the court about your child’s living arrangements, relationship with each parent, and any other relevant factors that may affect their well-being.
  3. Content Criteria: When preparing your affidavit, it’s important to include specific details about the issues at hand, such as any instances of domestic violence or substance abuse, the child’s routine and schedule, and any plans you have for their future care.
  4. Formatting Standards: Australian courts have specific requirements when it comes to formatting your affidavit. This includes using numbered paragraphs, signing each page of the document, and making sure it is clear and easy to read.

Familiarising yourself with these requirements and guidelines is essential to ensure that your affidavit meets admissibility standards and effectively supports your case for temporary child custody. Understanding the purpose of the affidavit and adhering to the prescribed content criteria and formatting standards will strengthen its validity and impact in court.

Step 2: Gather All Relevant Information and Evidence

When preparing your family law affidavit, it’s crucial to gather all relevant information and evidence to support your case for temporary child custody. This process involves:

  1. Conducting thorough research: Highlight the importance of conducting thorough research and documentation gathering to ensure the accuracy and persuasiveness of your affidavit.
  2. Identifying specific types of evidence: Mention specific types of evidence such as communication records, witness statements, or expert opinions that may be relevant to include in a child custody affidavit in Australia.
  3. Considering admissibility guidelines: Consider any additional guidelines or restrictions related to the admissibility of electronic evidence in Australian family courts.
  4. Pick your Most Persuasive Evidence: Unless you are preparing a Final Hearing Affidavit, you may be restricted to a small number of individual annexures to your affidavit. Unless permission is granted to rely upon additional material, you will be restricted to only 10 annexures for an Interim Hearing Affidavit. This may mean that you will be required to review your relevant evidence and pick the most persuasive and important material to be included with your affidavit.

Step 3: Structure and Format Your Affidavit Properly

When preparing an affidavit for child custody proceedings in Australia, it is crucial to structure and format your document properly to ensure clarity and ease of reference for the court. Here are some key points to consider:


Begin your affidavit with a clear and concise introduction that states:

  • Your name
  • Your relationship to the case
  • The purpose of the affidavit
  • A brief history of the relationship and events leading to separation.

This section should provide an overview of the issues you will address in the following paragraphs.

Numbered Paragraphs

Organise your information into numbered paragraphs to make it easier for the court and other parties involved to navigate through your affidavit. Each paragraph should focus on a specific topic or fact related to the child custody matter.

It is often a good idea to draft your affidavit by following a chronology of your relationship. Specifically, you should start with the commencement of the relationship and how you and your former partner met and began cohabitation.

Next, you may write about the day-to-day contributions made by each of the parties, including the financial and non-financial contributions that were undertaken by each party during the relationship. If the matter relates to the care of any children, you should clearly identify the roles and responsibilities that were adopted by each party following the birth of the children.

Finally, you should conclude your affidavit by outlining the events that lead to separation and provide clarification of the post-separation relationship and care arrangement.


End your affidavit with a brief conclusion that:

  • Summarises your key points
  • Restates your position regarding child custody

This section should reinforce the main arguments you have presented throughout the document.

Signing Your Affidavit

It is important to sign your affidavit in the presence of a qualified witness, such as a notary public or authorised court officer. This step ensures that your affidavit is considered a sworn statement under oath, adding credibility and reliability to its contents.

Formatting Guidelines

Familiarise yourself with any specific rules or guidelines regarding:

  • Font style
  • Margin sizes
  • Page limits

Adhering to these formatting requirements demonstrates professionalism and respect for legal procedures.

By structuring and formatting your affidavit properly, you can present your information coherently and effectively support your case for child custody. Remember to review and revise your affidavit carefully before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Present Your Case Clearly and Persuasively

When presenting your case in a family law affidavit, it’s crucial to maintain a clear and persuasive narrative that prioritizes the child’s best interests. Here’s how you can effectively communicate your arguments and concerns while maintaining a neutral tone:

  1. Focus on the Child’s Best Interests: Throughout your affidavit, emphasise how your proposed custodial arrangements will promote the child’s well-being and overall development.
  2. Address Key Factors: Consider addressing specific factors that are relevant to the requested custody outcome, such as:
    • Parental Responsibilities: Describe how each parent has been involved in the child’s upbringing and their respective strengths in meeting the child’s needs.
    • Living Arrangements: Provide details about the stability, safety, and suitability of each parent’s home environment.Allegations of Risk: It is important to document and evidence any allegations of family violence, substance abuse, or other issues that may present a risk of harm to the child
    • The Child’s Relationship with Siblings: Discuss the importance of maintaining sibling relationships and how your proposed arrangement will support these connections.

By articulating your arguments neutrally and emphasising the child’s welfare, you can strengthen the persuasiveness of your affidavit. Remember to provide detailed and compelling reasons supporting your proposed custodial arrangements to bolster the credibility of your case.

Step 5: Declaration and Signature

When writing a family law affidavit, it is crucial to include a clear and unequivocal declaration of truthfulness at the end of the document. This declaration serves as a sworn statement that confirms the accuracy and honesty of the information provided in the affidavit. In Australia, it is a legal requirement to include this declaration to ensure the admissibility of the affidavit in court.

The declaration is important because it:

  1. Confirms truthfulness: By including a declaration, you are stating under oath that everything written in your affidavit is true to the best of your knowledge.
  2. Establishes credibility: A well-written and properly signed affidavit with a declaration can enhance your credibility as a witness.
  3. Meets legal requirements: Including a declaration is necessary to comply with the rules and regulations governing affidavits in family court cases.

Step 6: Review, Revise, and Seek Legal Advice

When it comes to writing a family law affidavit, it’s important to carefully review and revise your document. This will help ensure its accuracy, persuasiveness, and credibility in court. Here are some key points to consider:

Proofreading and Editing

Take the time to thoroughly review your affidavit for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. Make sure your statements are clear and well-organised. Edit any sections that may be confusing or need more explanation.

Consistency and Coherence

Check that your affidavit tells a consistent story by verifying the information you provide. Ensure that all facts, dates, and names are correct and match other evidence you have collected.

Legal Advice

Before finalising your affidavit, it’s highly recommended to seek legal advice. A family lawyer can review your document to make sure it supports your overall legal strategy. They can also give you guidance on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and suggest any necessary changes.

Case-Specific Guidance

Keep in mind that every family law case is unique. What works for one person may not work for another. Consulting with a lawyer will allow you to get personalised advice based on the specific details of your situation.

Remember, while these steps are generally recommended after seeking legal advice, it is essential to consult with a lawyer for guidance tailored to your situation. Their expertise will help ensure that your affidavit is comprehensive, compelling, and aligned with the requirements of the Australian family courts.

By thoroughly reviewing and revising your affidavit, as well as seeking professional advice when needed, you can enhance its effectiveness in supporting your temporary child custody dispute. This step will help strengthen your position and increase the likelihood of achieving a favourable outcome in court proceedings.

Step 7: Finalise and File the Affidavit

After completing the affidavit, it is important to take the necessary steps to finalise and file it with the court. This involves two main tasks:

  • Filing Your Affidavit on the Court Portal:

Once you have made the necessary copies and prepared the affidavit of service, you can then proceed to file the affidavit with the relevant family court registry. Assuming your document is within the required page length, you are able to file a scanned pdf copy of your affidavit on the Court ComCourts Portal. If your affidavit is greater than the required page length, you may have to file it in person at a Family Court Registry.

When filing the affidavit, it is crucial to comply with any specified filing deadlines and fee requirements. Failure to do so may result in delays or even dismissal of your case.

Remember, finalising and filing the affidavit correctly is an essential step in the legal process, so it’s important to pay attention to detail and follow all necessary procedures carefully.

  • Serving Your Affidavit on the Other Party:

This step simply involves downloading your filed affidavit on the ComCourts portal and providing a copy to your former spouse or their legal representative. Typically, it is sufficient to serve a copy of the document by email. However, in certain circumstances, it may be necessary to effect personal service and to provide a subsequent affidavit of service to evidence that the document has been physically received by your former spouse.


When it comes to writing a family law affidavit in Australia, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines and seek professional help if needed. This document plays a crucial role in temporary child custody disputes, so it’s important to approach it with sincerity and attention to detail.

Remember, by following these steps and putting in the necessary effort, you can increase your chances of presenting a strong case and achieving a favourable outcome for you and your child.

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