Having trouble serving your divorce application on your spouse?
Service is a requirement so that the other party is notified of the pending application for divorce. If you and your spouse have made a joint application for divorce it’s not necessary to serve your spouse with any documents. But if you are making a sole application for divorce you are required to have the application personally served on your spouse. You cannot serve the documents on your spouse yourself. Service can be done by hand or by post. You can serve the documents by post only if you are confident that your spouse will sign and return the “Acknowledgement of Service (divorce)“ receipt to you. Always remember to record the day you posted the documents to your spouse. If you think that your spouse will not sign the Acknowledgement of Service receipt it is best to have a professional process server carry out the service for you by hand.

The divorce application asks for your spouse’s address for service. There are many cases where one party will not accept the application for divorce or go out of their way to make the process harder. Sometimes the other party may go off the radar and make it hard for you to locate them. This could be a frustrating situation to be in. Where you have taken all reasonable steps to serve the documents on your spouse and you are still having trouble, you have two options. You can apply to Court for an order of Substituted Service or for a Dispensation of Service.

Substituted service

Substituted service allows you to serve the court documents on a third party (eg. your spouse’s lawyer) where the court is satisfied that they will bring the documents to the attention of your spouse.

Dispensation of Service

Dispensation of service is where you don’t have to serve the documents on your spouse if the court is satisfied that you have taken all reasonable steps to locate him/her and you have met with no success. This order is granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Where you have applied for Substituted Service or the Dispensation of Service you will have to attend the court hearing. This is usually scheduled on the same day as the divorce hearing to save you time. When you attend the court hearing, take your copy of the service forms with you. You will also be required to provide an affidavit to court that explains all the steps you took to locate your spouse.

Being in a situation like this can be overwhelming so it’s good to seek some legal advice to clarify any doubts you may have. If you have any questions you need clarifying on serving documents on your spouse feel free to send me a message.

Tips on finding a missing spouse:

• Do a search on the social media sites that you think he/she maybe on. There maybe photos of places he/she visits or frequents that you can use to track him/her down.

• Do a Google search and also check online directories.

• Check with relatives and friends who may pass on the information you are looking for or ask them if they will contact him/her for you.

• Check with past employers, it’s worth a try!

• Do a search at Land Titles for property records.

• You can also use a private investigator? Do they frequent a particular restaurant, bar, gym?

Links to Process Servers:

PROCESS ALL-OVERhttps://processall-over.com.au/

NETWORK PROCESS SERVICEhttps://www.networkpro.com.au/

Anne-Marie Cade’s Bio

Hi, I am Anne-Marie. I am also a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner / Nationally Accredited Mediator, Certified Divorce Coach, High Conflict Coach, Parent Coordinator and founder of Divorce Right.
I have created a revolutionary new way for clients to heal and get over divorce or break-up. I am passionate about family and relationships and I work with clients to empower them to improve communication, manage conflict and reach a peaceful, amicable separation, so they can successfully co-parent together. I incorporate mindfulness practices into my coaching and mediation sessions so my clients are able to get more centered and grounded and become more mindful about the decisions they make.
This unique method helps clients manage the conflict, re-frame their relationship with their partner and finalize all the paperwork so they can move on to the next chapter of your life. I believe that this approach will ensure a positive outcome for the family. I am currently working on my soon to be released book “Peaceful Divorce, Happy Kids.”

I offer 1-1 coaching programs, group coaching, online courses, workshops, and mediation services.
If you or someone you know needs assistance during divorce you can organise a complimentary 15 minute chat here.