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"I Want To Get Divorced But I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is!?"

"I Want To Get Divorced But I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is!?"

Are you ready to get divorced but don’t know the whereabouts of your spouse? Never fear! It is possible to apply for a divorce without knowing the location of your spouse.

Once you have filed an Application for Divorce in Court you are required to serve a copy of the sealed Divorce Application on your spouse. If you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse you can apply to the Court for substituted service or dispensation of service as long as you can show the Court that you have made attempts to contact your spouse. 

If you are successful in your application for substituted service you will be allowed to serve the Divorce Application on a third party who the Court is satisfied will bring the application to the attention of your spouse. For example, if you know the whereabouts of your spouse’s parents and you have knowledge that your spouse is in regular contact with his/her parents, you may apply for substituted service upon your spouse’s parents.

In exceptional circumstances dispensation of service will be granted if the Court is satisfied that you have taken all reasonable steps to serve the document or bring it to the notice of your spouse and there is no other way that your spouse could reasonable become aware of the existence and nature of the document by advertisement or another form of communication that is reasonably available.

To apply to the Court for substituted service or dispensation of service, you need to complete an Application in a Case and Affidavit. You need to explain all the steps you have taken to locate your spouse in your affidavit, including:
  • What attempts, efforts and enquiries you made to find the respondent.
  • When you last saw, spoke to or communicated in any way with your spouse, and the circumstances of that sighting or communication.
  • The last known address of your spouse.
  • Who are the spouse’s nearest relatives and friends, what enquiries you made of these people about your spouse and any replies received.
  • What employment, if any, your spouse had.
  • What enquiries you made with your spouse’s last known employer and any replies received.
  • Details of any property, bank accounts or businesses jointly owned.
  • If your spouse lives overseas, details about the country they are living in, how long they have lived there and if they plan to travel or move back to Australia.
  • Any reasons why the respondent may not be contactable.
  • The costs of trying to locate the respondent and whether such costs are creating financial difficulties for you.
  • Any other relevant information that may help the Court.

Call us now on 8227 1970 and we will chat with you over the phone, free of charge.

Family law, divorce, wills and estate specialists for Adelaide and South Australia.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing in this blog should be deemed to create or constitute a solicitor-client relationship between any readers and Swan Lawyers. A solicitor-client relationship is created only when this firm agrees to represent someone and a written engagement agreement or engagement letter is signed by both the client and solicitor. In all cases, the reader should consult his or her own solicitor for advice. The information in this blog is based on Australian law.