This post is building off my recent posts about Utah motions for contempt (correct name: orders to show cause).
When you file a motion for an order to show cause (you can see our template motion here), you have to file a sworn declaration (think: affidavit) along with it.
A sworn declaration is where you really lay our all the allegations and evidence you have to prove your ex violated your divorce decree.
Couple things to keep in mind about sworn declarations:
- You can only testify about what you know first-hand.
So, no telling the court your friend’s cousin’s aunt said your ex violated your decree. No, what you testify to is what you’ve seen, heard, or experienced personally. If what your friend’s cousin’s aunt has information you need to tell the court, she needs to fill out her own sworn declaration.
- Only put relevant stuff in the sworn declaration.
If your ex hasn’t paid child support in six months, don’t write about how he or she was a terrible spouse during your marriage. That information, while extremely pertinent to you, will just muddy the waters. It takes away from the heart of the matter: i.e., that your ex hasn’t paid child support. Also, it annoys the judge, and you don’t want to annoy the judge.
With that said, here is our template sworn declaration:
SWORN DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER’S/RESPONDENT’S MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: CONTEMPT
STATE OF ___________ )
COUNTY OF ___________ )
I, XXXX X XXXX, hereby state as follows:
- I am the XXXX in the above-entitled action. The following statements are all based on my own direct observation and personal knowledge.
- I am XXXX X XXXX, and I am over eighteen years of age and I am fully competent to testify regarding the following.
- XXXX. (In this paragraph and the ones that follow, write whatever you feel necessary to let the court know how your ex violated your divorce decree. It’s best to keep it to one major idea per paragraph. If you have evidence you need to let the court see, attach it to the sworn declaration as an exhibit. Keep things tight, don’t ramble.)
Dated ____ XXXX 20___.
As authorized by Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 101(a) and Utah Code, Section 78(B)-5-705(1), and subject to the penalties prescribed in Utah Code, Section, 78(B)-5-705(2), Petitioner/Respondent, XXXX XXXX, declares under criminal penalty of the State of Utah that the foregoing XXXX is true and correct.
Executed XX XXXX 20XX.
/s/ XXXX XXXX
(Original signature on file with Brown Family Law)