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Five Tips for Writing a More Persuasive Personal Affidavit

Five Tips for Writing a More Persuasive Personal Affidavit

Most Nebraska courts decide temporary divorce hearings by reading the sworn personal statements of spouses rather than having spouses testify in court. These personal statements are referred to as “personal affidavits,” and they are perhaps the most important documents that courts consider when ruling on temporary issues. It is therefore critical that your personal affidavit is well written, persuasive, and easy for a court to read. While your attorney will help you to draft your personal affidavit, you can help your attorney by providing him or her with a polished first draft.

Tip 1: Write About One Topic at a Time

Personal affidavits often address many issues. To help provide a clearer picture of your story, talk about one topic at a time. For example, discuss your experiences as a primary-caregiver for your child or categorize your concerns about your spouse’s parenting time. By discussing one topic at a time, you will provide a clearer, more coherent picture of your situation.

Tip 2: Tell Your Story Chronologically

Once you have categorized the information you would like to present to the court, organize this information by the order in which it occurred. This will help your attorney and the court to more easily follow the events in your affidavit.

Tip 3: Focus on the Facts

The more your attorney knows, the better your attorney can advocate for you. Provide your attorney with as many facts as you can. Your attorney will help you to determine which facts are important and which facts may not be relevant to the purpose of your temporary hearing.

Tip 4: Be Specific                     

When providing facts, be specific. Use exact dates, times, locations, amounts of money, witnesses, and so on. Vague personal affidavits look less credible than specific personal affidavits.

Tip 5: Be Honest

Perhaps the most detrimental thing that you can do in your affidavit is lie. Courts understand that spouses are human, and they give credit to spouses who are open and honest. Conversely, courts quickly dismiss personal affidavits when they feel those affidavits are either exaggerated or false.

Your personal affidavit is your voice to the court. The effort that you put into polishing your personal affidavit translates into avoided legal fees and a more persuasive final draft. Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne understands the importance of personal affidavits and is here to help guide you through the drafting process and beyond.

David Pontier