An affidavit is simply any written document in which the signer swears under oath, and the writer of an affidavit is known as the affiant. Generally speaking, you can find affidavit forms at the courthouse in which the document is to be submitted. To choose the best affidavit format, you should understand the information that typically is included in an affidavit, and you should consider the specific reason why you need the affidavit. A legal professional can help you choose the best affidavit format, if necessary.
The typical affidavit format dictates that you will need to write your name, your address and the time at the top of the form. Below that will be a statement that you are at least 18 years of age and competent to testify, followed by the facts that you are to provide. After completing the form, you will have to sign and date it at the bottom of the page.
If there is no standard form available at the courthouse where you will file it, then you will have to create your own. In this case, you probably should follow the typical affidavit format. The most important consideration in drawing up an affidavit is listing the facts, because the purpose of the document is for you to swear to truth of the listed facts.
If you are overwhelmed by the facts of the case, or the affidavit is a lot more complex than you expected it to be, then it is best to seek the aid of a legal professional to help you come up with the best affidavit format. Type out in your own words your account of the incident that you are being asked to recall, and bring any relevant documents to present to the attorney, and he or she will help you draft your affidavit. It is best to be safe in a situation like this rather than risk having a judge deem your affidavit inadmissible based on a technicality.
The modern affidavit format is generally to list the facts in a numbered list, broken up by each piece of information in a logical manner. For instance, if you are an affiant acting as a witness to an alleged theft of a car, then one paragraph would include the description of the person you saw break into the car. A separate paragraph would include the direction in which you saw the thief drive away from the scene.
Most courts will require you to take an oath in front of a notary public, lawyer or judge, swearing to the truth of the statements. Alternatively, in some jurisdictions, you will be able to simply make a swearing statement instead of having to seek out an authorized witness. Either way, you will have to swear under oath to the truth of the statements made, so be sure that they are all accurate to the best of your knowledge.