With divorce and family law service, it is a requirement in divorce proceedings that the defendant must be served with divorce papers before a court can hear the case and grant a divorce. Upon accepting a Divorce Serving tasks, we are acutely aware that clients may be in a vulnerable and emotional situation and will want the process to be professionally managed and actioned quickly, thus removing any stress and pressure and getting the job done quickly is the priority.
My name is Peter Wood, a Licensed Private Investigator and Director of Key Essentials Investigations. With decades of experience dealing with conflict and workplace situations, I am skilled and experienced in locating, approaching, and undertaking these sensitive tasks. My past experiences have positioned me to comfortably and wisely serve the community, individuals, and law firms as a field agent and process server of legal papers.
As we can all appreciate when dealing with a divorce, how incredibly stressful and challenging it can be, that creates anxieties for all involved. It has been my experience that the clients that are using the Divorce Service Kit are aware that they cannot serve the divorce documents themselves, and they must have a person over 18 years of age to serve the documents on their spouse.
They are normally aware that a server can be a family member or friend. However, more often, they will engage a professional process server to undertake the serve.
When undertaking a task of serving divorce papers, clients will be:
Advised when proceeding to the residence of the respondent and again immediately after leaving the residence with information regarding the outcome and if the divorce papers have been successfully served.
Ensured that all avenues are taken to obtain a signature from the respondent during the serving process.
Provided with the supporting documents of completion by email containing a PDF copy of the documents for their records.
Provided with an Acknowledgement of Service form together with a completed Affidavit of Service included in the cost of service.
There will be 3 attempts at the nominated address 3 times in total to try and obtain a successful service. If the service has still not been made, the client will again be contacted to discuss further options.
In the event, the respondent was not at home, and not having information on the whereabouts of the respondent at that location, some enquiries with be made to neighbours to try and identify if the respondent still lives at that address or any other information that will assist pinpoint a time when they are normally at home.
If the respondent refuses to accept the documents after outlining what they are for, papers are then put them down in the presence of the respondent and is then told, “Your spouse is applying for a divorce and I am serving you with the divorce application”. They will also be notified of the date and time and hearing location.
If the respondent does not sign the acknowledgment of service, the Affidavit of Service will be completed by hand and tick the appropriate box at Part B adding a note, if required, of the circumstances.
When serving a respondent, it is vital to correctly identify the person is the actual Respondent, so the Court knows that the documents have been given to the right person. We will identify him/her by:
A photograph of the respondent that’s been provided.
Asking questions eg: Are you Name Name – Are you the husband/wife of Name Name?
At times another person may answers the door will confirm the correctness of the respondent before he/she arrives at the door.
In the event the respondent was not at the given location we again immediately advise the client and seek further information or instructions to pursue a successful serving.
To serve divorce papers clients will be asked to email the following divorce documents.
Copy of the Application for Divorce
Any other documents filed with the Federal Circuit Court relating to their Divorce Application, (except any passport/citizenship/marriage certificates/reduction of fees form/concession cards filed)
After Documents Have Been Served
After the serving, there will be:
Completed Affidavit of Service by Hand (Divorce) which includes any information or documents as attachments to the Affidavit of Service by Hand (Divorce) which helped identify the respondent.
My signature on the Affidavit of Service by Hand (Divorce) is then witnessed by a person who is authorised to witness affidavits, for example, a lawyer or Justice of the Peace.
Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce), if the respondent signs, and this will be attached to the Affidavit of Service by Hand (Divorce). A Justice of the Peace will complete the annexure note at the bottom of the Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce).
NOTE: All clients are advised of the need to complete and sign an Affidavit Proving Signature (Divorce) document. If their spouse has signed the Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) document, this is done to establish they recognise the signature of their spouse.
The signature of the client on the Affidavit Proving Signature (Divorce) document also needs to be witnessed by a lawyer or Justice of the Peace.
Upon receipt of payment the original documents will then be posted to the client using express post, or delivered to their office or location if requested.
It is worth remembering, and I always remind my clients if the server does not know the respondent, the applicant must complete the Affidavit Proving Signature and attach a photocopy of the Acknowledgement of Service.
If the respondent’s lawyer is served and the Acknowledgement of Service is signed, there is no requirement to complete the Affidavit of Service by hand. Only the Acknowledgment of Service is needed and then uploaded.
By engaging Key Essentials Investigations Process Server, this is your best way to effectively service your important documents and all serves are undertaken expediently and as efficiently as possible.
When dealing with clients and undertaking any service, it is our aim to always maintain a professional, considerate, and respectful approach. Most respondents understand that the Process Server is a neutral third party in their conflict or issue, and there to provide them with the documents and information regarding the matter.