Serving Divorce Papers When You Never Want to See Your Former Partner Again

Law Blog

Some divorces are perfectly friendly, but many are not. Your marriage might have had an ugly ending, and so making the decision to separate with an aim to divorce may have come as a relief. You might, quite literally, never want to see them again. There might be animosity, hurt feelings, and in some cases, you might worry for your safety if you were ever face-to-face with your soon-to-be ex-spouse again. This can raise an issue with one of the critical steps of ending your marriage. So how can you serve divorce papers to someone you never want to see again?

It Doesn't Matter Who Does It

You can personally serve your former partner with divorce papers, but this is not mandatory. As long as the necessary paperwork is served, it doesn't technically matter who does it. So what are your options?

Via the Post

Let Australia Post serve on your behalf. It's as simple as posting the divorce papers. Opt for a registered letter to guarantee delivery. This form of delivery also provides proof that the papers have been received since someone will need to sign for the registered letter. There's no guarantee that your former partner will readily sign the documents and return them to you, but it at least demonstrates that you have completed your obligation in this stage of the process.

Via a Lawyer

Do you and your former partner have your own lawyers? When someone is representing your former partner in the proceedings, it's possible to provide their legal representative with the paperwork. Again, there is no guarantee that the documents will be quickly signed and returned. You should also check with your former partner's lawyer that they are willing and able to receive the documents, but it's likely that they will be able to do so.

Via a Professional Server

Hiring a process server is another option. Ask your own lawyer about this, or the Family Court can advise you if you don't yet have legal representation. The process server will approach your former partner at an appropriate time and location and will physically hand them the paperwork. Your former partner will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of receipt, but they might refuse to do so. In any event, the process server will complete a statutory declaration to state that they have physically served the paperwork to the person in question.

When a divorce is so messy that you don't want to have anything further to do with your former partner, you'll need to make arrangements to get the divorce papers to them, without having to see them.


27 August 2020

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