arties 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 provides the Court with the power to grant an Order for a party to be served by way of email or post or on another person or such other way that brings the document to the attention of the Respondent.
- Dispensation of service. This provides the Court with the power to dispense with the requirement to serve a party to the proceedings with a Court document if the Court is satisfied that a party has made all reasonable attempts to serve the other party.
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 bring these matters to the Court’s attention prior to the Court Hearing. The Application in a Case must set out the particular Orders the party is asking the Court to make, whether it is an Order for substituted service or dispensation with service. The Affidavit must inform the Court of all of the attempts the party has already made to serve the documents on the Respondent and if an Order for substituted service is made, how the person knows that service by other means will bring the documents to the attention of the Respondent.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?