Want to share what you like about MassLegalHelp with us?


Submit affidavits to support your motion for custody

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February 2022

When you file a motion for custody, you should also file an "affidavit.”

An affidavit is a signed statement.  You write in your affidavit what you have seen and what you have heard. Give examples. When you sign it, you swear that everything in the affidavit is true to the best of your knowledge.

Your affidavit is one way to show the judge why you should have custody. Describe how you meet your child’s needs, like providing your child with:

  • a safe and comfortable place to live,
  • medical care,
  • proper food and clothing,
  • the supervision they need,
  • help meeting their educational needs,
  • daily care, and
  • emotional support.

If the other parent harms your child in any way or puts your child at risk, make sure you can give the judge specific examples when the other parent:

  • abused you or your child,
  • abused drugs or alcohol,
  • exposed your child to domestic violence.

You can use affidavits from more than one person.

In a motion hearing judges usually do not hear from witnesses, so it is useful to get affidavits from other people to show the judge why you should have custody.


Tell people who give you their affidavits, they may also need to come to court to testify.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm