What is an Affidavit and How is it Used in The United Kingdom?
What is an affidavit?
One method that is commonly used to convey the truth in court is an affidavit. An affidavit is a written statement that is used to prove to the courts that certain information is the truth. The individual who writes the affidavit is swearing, upon signing the statement, that the information within is the truth. An official affidavit form must be used. The affidavit is often written by a lawyer, and either signed by the individual immediately after it is written, or at a later date in the presence of a solicitor or commissioner of oaths.
What does an affidavit include?
An affidavit need not necessarily focus on hard facts. Instead, it may sometimes be the opinion of the individual who writes it, or be the sequence of facts that they believe to be true. If the affidavit includes an opinion, that needs to be clearly stated.
What happens if an affidavit is found to be false?
If the individual claims that what is included in the affidavit is the truth as they believe it, the individual will not be punished if other, contradictory facts are later discovered. However, if it is determined that the individual knowingly provided false information, they may be fined and/or imprisoned for contempt of court or committing perjury.
Who can write an affidavit?
Anyone can write and sign an affidavit, so long as they are considered mentally sound enough to swear an oath to tell the truth. If an individual is not considered mentally sound, a guardian or other individual may sometimes be permitted to write and sign the affidavit in that individual’s place.
In the United Kingdom, affidavits are mainly used in three types of court proceedings: divorce proceedings, property disputes, and debt cases. Just as the use of a process server helps individuals ensure that their case is properly and legally built, an affidavit can help ensure professionalism, and can go a long way towards building a strong, successful case in court. If you’re looking to file for divorce, settle a property or loan dispute, or file any other type of case, the first step is to hire a process server, to let the other party know that you plan to take them to course. Then, you and any other involved parties or witnesses can use affidavits to begin solidifying your case before it goes to court.