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If you applied for divorce on the Commonwealth Courts Portal, you will receive an email with a link to a PDF attachment of the sealed divorce documents.
If you want to serve the divorce documents in a different way, you will have to ask the court for special permission by filling in an Application in a Case and an affidavit to seek an Order for Substituted Service or Dispensation of Service (see page 3 of this factsheet).
Unless you have a special Service Order, you must serve on your spouse: No. Even if your spouse refuses to sign any documents, the court can grant a divorce order.
This factsheet is the second of five factsheets to help you with your divorce.
This factsheet explains how to serve your divorce papers after you have filed your divorce application. You will find the forms you need to serve your divorce documents in the Divorce Service Kit.
The server must sign an affidavit to prove they have served your spouse within the time limit of 28 days before the divorce hearing if your spouse is in Australia, or 42 days before the divorce hearing if they are overseas.
The server must have the completed affidavit signed and witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a lawyer.You must arrange service by hand or by post on your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.You are not allowed to personally serve the divorce documents on your spouse.If your divorce documents were served overseas, they can have the affidavit witnessed in the way affidavits are witnessed in that country.All words must be in English or translated into English.You can ask anyone over 18 (not yourself) to serve the divorce papers.Your server may be a friend, family member, the local Sheriff or a professional process server.You will need to serve the sealed divorce documents on your spouse.‘Service’ is the legal term for giving the documents to your spouse.This kit is available at your nearest Family Law Registry, from the court’s website at or by calling 1300 352 000.After you file your Application for Divorce,the court will return the divorce documents stamped with a red court stamp (called a ‘seal’).