Serving Divorce Papers in NSW, Australia: A Guide by Dot Legal
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional time for both parties involved. It is important to understand the legal process of serving divorce papers in NSW, Australia to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in serving divorce papers and provide useful information to help guide you through the process.
What are Divorce Papers?
Divorce papers, also known as a divorce application or petition, are legal documents that initiate the divorce process. It outlines the reasons for the divorce and the terms and conditions that both parties must follow during and after the divorce. This document must be filed in court and served to the other party before the divorce process can proceed.
Who can Serve Divorce Papers?
Divorce papers must be served by someone who is over the age of 18 and not involved in the case. This can include a family member, friend, or a professional process server. If you are unsure of who can serve divorce papers, it is recommended that you seek legal advice.
Steps Involved in Serving Divorce Papers
Step 1: Filing the Divorce Application
The first step in serving divorce papers is to file the divorce application with the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. This can be done online or in person at the court registry. The application fee must also be paid at the time of filing.
Step 2: Serving the Divorce Papers
Once the divorce application has been filed, it must be served to the other party. This can be done in several ways, including:
- Personal Service: This involves serving the papers in person to the other party. This can be done by a friend or family member, or a professional process server.
- Substituted Service: If the other party cannot be located, the papers can be served to someone else on their behalf. This can include a family member or friend, or a professional process server.
- Service by Post: If the other party cannot be located and substituted service is not possible, the papers can be served by post. This involves sending the papers to the other party’s last known address by registered mail.
Step 3: Filing the Affidavit of Service
Once the divorce papers have been served, the person who served the papers must file an Affidavit of Service with the court. This document confirms that the papers were served and outlines how they were served. This document must be filed within 28 days of the papers being served.
Step 4: Waiting Period
After the divorce papers have been served and the Affidavit of Service has been filed, there is a waiting period of at least one month before the divorce can be granted. This waiting period allows the other party time to respond to the divorce application if they wish to contest it.
Step 5: Divorce Hearing
If the other party does not contest the divorce application, the divorce can be granted by the court without the need for a hearing. However, if the other party does contest the application, a divorce hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present their case and the court will make a decision.
Serving divorce papers in NSW, Australia can be a complicated and stressful process. However, by understanding the steps involved and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. At Dot Legal, our experienced lawyers are here to guide you through the process and provide you with the support you need during this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.