Parties to family law proceedings must be served with the court documents filed by the other party. This must occur by post or be personally served, depending on the document. Confirmation of the service must then be filed with the court. From time to time in family law matters a party may avoid service of a document.
If a party is unable to serve the other party they can make an application to the court, who has the power to make an order for:
- Substituted service. This allows a party to be served via email or post or via another person or such other way that brings the document to the attention of the respondent.
- Dispensation of service. This dispenses with the requirement to serve a party with a document if the court is satisfied that a party has made all reasonable attempts to serve it.
If a party is avoiding service, the party attempting to serve the documents will need to file an application in a case and affidavit to advise the court before the court hearing. The application must set out whether an order for substituted service or dispensation with service is sought. The affidavit must contain all of the service attempts the party has made, and if an order for substituted service is made, how that service will bring the documents to the attention of the respondent.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.