How Do I Fix an Error in an Affidavit or Add to an Affidavit?
Once you've sworn your affidavit, it's done. With one exception — for typos, discussed below — the only way you can fix a mistake in that affidavit or add additional information to it is to make a new affidavit.
It's not uncommon to have three, four, or even fifteen affidavits prepared in the course of a court proceeding in a family law dispute. These affidavits are mostly made to update the court on events occurring since the previous affidavit was sworn.
Note that new affidavits don't replace any of the previous affidavits, they just add to the written evidence already in the court file. Every affidavit stands on its own.
Adding new informationEdit
If you have to add new information or documents that should have been in the previous affidavit, you'll have to do up a new affidavit. In the beginning of the affidavit, just state that you're making the affidavit to give the court new information, and then set out the additional information you need to give the court.
In the example below, paragraph 1 is the standard beginning paragraph of an affidavit. Paragraph 2 explains that the affidavit is filed to give additional information. The other paragraphs add a new document and give some new information.
1. I am the Claimant in this matter, and as such have personal knowledge of the facts hereinafter deposed to. 2. I make this my affidavit to supplement the evidence given in my second affidavit, sworn in this matter on 1 April 2016 (the "Second Affidavit"). 3. At paragraph 32 of the Second Affidavit, I describe how the Respondent and I bought our 1980 Ford Pinto. I have now found the sales receipt for that purchase, which shows that I paid all of the down payment. Attached to this my Affidavit as EXHIBIT "A" is a true copy of the sales receipt, dated 1 April 2006. 4. At paragraph 44 of the Second Affidavit, I discuss how the Respondent and I bought the green filing cabinet. I have had the chance to give further thought to this purchase, and I now recall that it had four drawers. I accidentally omitted this fact in the Second Affidavit.
...and so on.
Fixing less important informationEdit
If you've made a typo in an affidavit that's already been sworn, you don't have to prepare a whole new affidavit. This is what you do:
- Take the sworn affidavit to a lawyer or notary public, preferably the lawyer or notary who executed the affidavit.
- When you're in front of the lawyer or notary, correct the mistakes on the affidavit in pen (cross out the incorrect information and write the correct information).
- Write your initials in the margin of the page beside the line you have corrected. The lawyer or notary will put their initials there too. Repeat until you have corrected all errors.
- The notary or lawyer will then have to re-swear your affidavit, which just means that you'll have to give your oath that the corrected affidavit is true and sign the affidavit again, below your old signature, and the lawyer or notary will sign the affidavit again.
This will not be appropriate for all mistakes. You can fix a number, change an "I did" to an "I did not," fix a misspelling, or even delete a whole paragraph. It is not appropriate to fix major mistakes about important facts and claims. To fix those, you really should prepare a new affidavit to explain yourself.
Fixing important informationEdit
If you've made a major error in an affidavit that's already been sworn, you must prepare a whole new affidavit to explain why you've changed your evidence and what your mistake was.
In this example, the first two paragraphs introduce the new affidavit and explain why it is being made. Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 show how different types of mistake could be corrected. The last paragraph confirms, with the exception of the corrected information, that the balance of the earlier affidavit is true.
1. I am the Claimant in this matter, and as such have personal knowledge of the facts hereinafter deposed to. 2. I make this my affidavit to correct certain evidence given in my second affidavit, sworn in this matter on 1 April 2016 (the "Second Affidavit"). 3. At paragraph 12 of the Second Affidavit, I discuss how the Respondent and I bought the green filing cabinet. I have had the chance to give further thought to this purchase, and I now recall that it was a black filing cabinet and that it had four drawers, not three. I was mistaken with respect to these two facts in the Second Affidavit. 4. At paragraph 15 of the Second Affidavit, I state that the Respondent was late in picking the children up from school on 1 April 2009. Since I made the Second Affidavit, I have had the chance to review my calendar and refresh my memory, and I realize that the Defendant was not late in picking the children up that day. 5. At paragraph 18 of the Second Affidavit, I state that the Respondent has two cars. I have read the Respondent's third affidavit, sworn in this matter on 12 April 2016, and I admit that the Respondent is correct when he says that he has but one car. The evidence I gave in the Second Affidavit on this point was incorrect. I had forgotten that the Defendant sold the Ford Pinto in 2006.
...and so on. Finish with this:
13. In all other respects, the evidence given by me in the Second Affidavit is true and accurate.
You must be careful about correcting major mistakes, especially those that are important to a claim you or your former spouse are making. Too many corrections may make you look sloppy and careless, and could possibly undermine your credibility. The best way to avoid problems like this is to ensure that each affidavit you make is as accurate as possible before you swear it.
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Megan Ellis, QC, June 10, 2019.|
|JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|