4 Tips for Drafting a Declaration in a Family Law Case
If you’re filing or responding to a Request for Order in a family law case, you’re required to attach a declaration. A declaration is a written statement made under penalty of perjury that explains your request and provides facts to support its basis.
The declaration will be read by the judge and potentially your spouse. Beyond that, it could provide the leverage you need to mediate the case amicably. For these reasons, it’s essential to draft a poignant declaration that satisfies all requirements and presents enough evidence for the judge to rule in your favor.
Here are a few helpful tips to give you a little more insight regarding what’s needed for a declaration in a family law case.
1. Use Your Own Words
While writing a document for a judge might seem intimidating, you don’t need to worry about whether your language emulates the formal tone of a trained lawyer.
You should definitely double-check your spelling, but you don’t need to worry about incorporating complex legal terms or anything of that nature. Just focus on the facts you’re presenting and the evidence that supports them.
Remember, the judge reading your declaration will likely have a full schedule and a heavy caseload. They’ll appreciate being handed a document that gets straight to the point without any fluff or beating around the bush.
2. Check Your Work
Although the document needs to be straight to the point, it shouldn’t be hastily written.
Take the time to organize your thoughts so they translate well to paper. Remember, you’ll be using this declaration throughout your case, so taking the time to be thorough now will serve you well in the future.
When formatting your declaration, make sure everything is structurally sound. Most declarations follow this specific format:
- Background information
- Case facts
However, keep in mind that every case is different, and the details of your case might merit additional sections. Consult a lawyer if you have specific questions regarding your case.
3. Don’t Slander Your Spouse
Your goal should be to write a compelling declaration that presents the facts of your case clearly and concisely. If you spend any amount of time insulting, criticizing, or finding fault with your spouse, it could work against you.
Judges are frequently partial to the spouse that shows respect for the other despite the difficult circumstances. If they detect traces of animosity in your declaration, they could end up ruling in favor of the spouse that’s being the bigger person.
4. Remember That You’re Under Oath
Being under oath means more than not lying, although you most certainly shouldn’t do that. When writing your declaration, you must attest to the truthfulness of the facts you’ve presented about your case. This section usually precedes your signature.
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If you need the help of an attorney that specializes in family law, Gucciardo Family Law is here for you. Our attorneys have abundant experience in family law and will work to achieve a positive outcome for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free half-hour consultation.
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