Supreme Court

Write an affidavit

Before you begin

This guide will help you write an affidavit if you're a party in a family law case. It covers:

  • parenting 
  • child support 
  • spousal support; and
  • property (interim orders).

Every family law case is different. You may only need content from one of these sections, or you may use all four. The sample clauses (paragraphs) provided on these issues are just examples. You may find they fit your situation perfectly, or that you need to change them to work for you. But for the sections that apply to your case, they represent information that's important to tell the court.

This guide is based on the BC Family Law Act and the language it uses. See Parenting apart (for a list of these words and what they mean) and Which laws can you use for your family law issue?.

This guide will also help you fill in the format, introductory, and concluding clauses that are mandatory for every affidavit. These clauses must be included in your affidavit. All of the clauses in the other sections are optional.

Before you begin using this guide, read our fact sheet How do you write an affidavit?. This fact sheet will provide you with some background information that's essential to writing an affidavit.

Before your affidavit can be considered in court, you must swear or affirm the affidavit in front of a commissioner for taking affidavits.

How do I use affidavits in Supreme Court?

An affidavit is a document that contains facts that you swear under oath or affirm to be true. In Supreme Court, affidavits are mostly used for Chambers applications and hearings, not trials. You file an affidavit at the same time as your Notice of Application (Form F31) or Application Response (Form F32). The affidavit then acts as evidence in your hearing, if you have one. A good affidavit provides just enough information for the judge to make a quick decision.

Use an affidavit to provide your evidence when you make or respond to an application to court to:

  • make an interim order;
  • change, suspend, or terminate a final order or
  • set aside or replace all or part of an agreement.

You need to file and serve  the affidavit on the other party along with your application or application response. If you're the applicant, you may provide a second affidavit to respond to the other party's documents.

Rule 10-4 of the Supreme Court Family Rules sets out the rules about affidavits.

Using affidavits at trial

In rare cases, a witness can swear an affidavit instead of giving oral testimony at a trial. You'd have to make an application for the judge to order this. Even then, the witness may still have to give oral evidence in cross-examination.

You may use an affidavit to provide your evidence for a summary trial under Rule 11-3 of the Supreme Court Family Rules. A summary trial may be used to get an order without a full trial in some cases.