When you give evidence to the court you're telling the judge your story. You can give evidence by:
- speaking in court, or
- writing an affidavit using Form 45 (for Provincial Court) or Form 30 (for Supreme Court).
An affidavit is a form where you write down the facts about your case. It must be sworn by a notary or lawyer.
Use this page to see what you need if you're:
- writing an affidavit, or
- getting ready to go to court and want to speak your evidence (say it aloud in court).
When you write your affidavit:
- be as clear as you can,
- give as much detail as you can, and
- only write about issues that relate to your case.
You know what happened but the judge doesn’t. Use your affidavit to give them all the facts they need to make a decision.
Think about what orders you want and write down what the judge needs to know to give you those orders. See our sample Supreme Court affidavit for some ideas about what kind of information the judge will likely find helpful.
If you’re responding to an affidavit (replying to an affidavit that someone has sent you), write down:
- what you disagree with, and
- why you disagree.
Give as much detail as you can about:
- your side of the story, and
- the facts that support what you think should happen.
For example, if the affidavit is an application to change an existing court order, the court needs to know how things have changed for you or the other person since your original order or agreement was made.
Speaking your evidence
If you’re going to speak your evidence (called giving evidence) in court, use the same tips for writing an affidavit. Write down what you want to say and practise saying it. And write a list of what documents you need to bring to court.
You’re allowed to read from your notes in court. Bring them to court so you don’t forget anything.
The judge will likely interrupt you to ask questions when you’re speaking, so:
- be prepared to look at different parts of your notes at different times, and
- try to bring a support person to take notes about the judge’s questions while you’re speaking.
If you don't know the answer to the question, say, "I don’t know, but my best guess is…"
If you accidentally say something that isn’t correct, say, "I’m sorry. I was nervous and wasn’t clear about something. What I meant to say was…"
Paperwork can be tedious and tiring. Take breaks, drink water, and remember you don't have to do it all at once.