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NSW affidavit alterations

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Ross1976, 14 May 2018.

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  1. Ross1976

    Ross1976 Member

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    Hi,

    Next hearing at Federal Circuit Court (Newcastle) end May (2nd Directions Hearing). I had a solicitor working on my behalf until recently - could no longer afford his services. I would like to make some adjustments/additions to my affidavit & ennex some letters from employers to support my character. And also 2 letter's from friends & family to support my case. Can i do this? Plus, i have photo's of my residence & that of my father's farm. Can i annex these as 1 also. Secondly, in response to my original affidavit my ex made a few claim's i believe to be untrue. eg. she said we did not speak since the day of separation & overindulged with an argument we had on the day of seperation (abusive language, etc). I called her 10 days after & we spoke for approx 45min. She claims this did not happen. I have a phone bill that proves we did speak. Is it worth my while annexing this to my affidavit.
    Lastly, my mother has been very difficult in cooperating with me re: supervised visits with my son. She did 3, then did not suit her to continue. I would like to subpoena reports for the visits however she has moved & i don't know her address. She will not answer my calls or texts. Note: I have completed 7 further visits via a contact center & have subpoenaed them. All went well.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    You can't amend an affidavit.

    An affidavit is a statement of fact - it's a statement about what you believed to be true at the time you deposed it, so you can't change the facts or add more in.

    What you can do is file a supplementary affidavit.

    But for the information you want to file in addition to your existing affidavit, I think you'd be wasting your time.

    Character references are good in criminal matters, but they're not worth the paper they're written on in family law. Such references don't contribute to any aspect of s 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975 (FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 60CC How a court determines what is in a child's best interests).

    The only time you really want a third party contributing anything to your family law matter is if they're an expert witness, they've witnessed some incident affecting the child, or they are of significance to the child (for example, a step-parent who would be living with or spending a lot of time with the child). In such cases, you want them to provide their own affidavit, rather than annexing their words to your affidavit.

    Photos also don't bring much to the table. What does a photo of a farm say about the child's best interests in the context of the orders that you're seeking? What's the relevance in the context of s 60CC of the FLA? If you can provide for the child, all you need to write in your affidavit is something like 'Since [date], I have lived with my father on his farm at [address]. [Child] has his own bedroom at the property, which is stocked with his own clothing, furniture, toys and other possessions.' You don't need to provide photos to prove it.

    A lesson in mindset - the Family Law Act very clearly states that it's objective in terms of parenting matters is to ensure children can enjoy their right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, as much as is consistent with their best interests, and regardless of the nature of the relationship between the parents, and it's the Court's job to uphold that right as best it can. In short, unless you pose an unacceptable risk of harm to the child from abuse, neglect or family violence, the Court wants the child to spend as much time as possible with each of his parents.

    Your job isn't to prove to the Court that you're a good dad, or that your son should have a relationship with you - that is your son's right, regardless of whether you live on a farm complete with wood stack and horses, or in a one-bedroom flat with no heating on the outskirts of the city. Having a relationship with you is his right, and it's that right that the Court serves to uphold, so your job is to prove there's no reason for the Court to stop your son from enjoying that right. It's a small difference, but it's crucial for working out what's important in your case and what isn't.

    The subpoenaed report/s from the contact centre is great evidence toward this objective. If they say your son was happy to see you, that he appeared comfortable during the visits and there were no incidents, that casts some doubt on mum's assertions that your son has no relationship with you or that he's afraid of you, correct?

    Of course, the same kind of evidence from your mother is going to be a lot less convincing because it's liable to be biased, so I wouldn't bother pursuing that. What I would tell the Court in your supplementary affidavit is what happened, for example:

    On [date], [date] and [date], I attended my mother's residence at [address] to spend time with [Child] in accordance with interim orders made on [date]. However, after the time together on [date], my mother and I had an argument about the inconvenience to her of supervising [Child's] time with me. As such, I organised for [Child's] time with me to take place at [Contact Centre], commencing [date], and that time has occurred consistently each [day] for two hours between [time] and [time]. Annexed hereto and marked X is a bundle of reports generated by [Contact Centre] regarding their observations of [Child's] time with me. I am aware my mother has since relocated, but I am unaware of her current contact information.
    Does that make sense?
     
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  3. thatbloke

    thatbloke Well-Known Member

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    Glowing reports from friends family and the like are worth less than toilet paper and anyway they should be filing an actual affidavit as annexure letters count for even less and almost always are totally ignored/struck out. Same with Photos.. a total waste of time
     
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  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    YUP AGREED.
    More importantly - You're risking making some big mistakes... Don't get caught up on small details... Look as a self representer you are punching above your weight.. Oh I feel a good sports metaphor coming along... Ok, so you're punching above your weight right... So, you want to keep things simple... And stay focused on the prize... The prize is time with the kids right.... REMEMBER THAT.

    So what if you can prove the ex lied about a phone call. What does it prove - that she is a liar. SO WHAT? But if you get caught up with proving that she lied, that she did this, that she hates you that that that blah blah blah... Guess what will happen? you will spend less time with the kid. WHY? Well the magistrate will determine that you're both twits who are intent on fighting eachother at every turn and decide that the best thing for the kid is the keep the kid away from all this stupidity... and you know what that means? Minimal or no time for dad with kid
     
  5. Ross1976

    Ross1976 Member

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    Thanks for the valuable feedback. Decided to focus on work instead. Got a sale yesterday as a result. Far more productive me thinks..
     
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