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Articles Tagged with declaration

Last week this blog discussed declarations. That post provided an overview of what a declaration is and how it might be used. This week we will get into some of the specifics. Here are four things to consider when drafting a declaration:

  1. Know the Purpose: When you are providing an attorney with a draft of your declaration, make sure you know what purpose the declaration will be used for. Write to that purpose and include as many facts as you can that will help your lawyer represent you best.
  2. Be Inclusive: It’s better to provide your attorney with more information than not enough. Your attorney can cut things out that won’t help your case.
  3. Stick to the Facts: In most cases, the court isn’t going to be interested in your opinion. The court doesn’t need to know that you think the other party is a horrible person – they probably assume that you think that. Focus your time, energy, and pages on giving the court the facts. However, you may want to include the way you felt when something happened. This can make your story more relatable and more believable.
  4. Admit your Mistakes: This point will definitely need to be discussed with your attorney, but there are times it is better to be upfront about a mistake you made rather than waiting for it to be brought up by the other side.

You will want to talk to your attorney prior to drafting your declaration. Each family and case is different and issues should be discussed with an attorney familiar with your unique facts and circumstances. We hope that this list gives you some ideas of things to discuss with your attorney prior to drafting your declaration.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your family law issue with a family law attorney.

As family law attorneys, we often ask our clients to write declarations. Clients are often unsure of what a declaration is, and how it may be used. Here we’ll provide a brief overview of what declarations are and how they may be used in family law cases.

Declarations are sworn statements. They are written by people with factual information they think will be important to the court in making a decision. Declarations are the declarant’s story of how an event (or series of events) transpired. Parties and non-parties may write declarations. Declarations need not be notarized (that would be an affidavit), but they are signed under penalty of perjury. Declarations may be written on Washington’s pattern form.

Many clients have a lot they think the court needs to know in order to make a just decision. They may want to submit a 50 page declaration, or 50 one-page declarations from all their friends and family members. Unfortunately, the length of declarations is limited by court rules. The limitation generally includes the initial declaration as well as the reply declaration, meaning that you need to save some of your pages for after you receive the other side’s response. As attorneys, it is our job to help you decide what information is most important for the decision-maker to read.

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