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You will need strong evidence for the court to dispense with service. You should consider substituted service first.
Step by step guide: Applying for Substituted Service Orders
If you are concerned about your residential address being disclosed to your spouse or are afraid to contact them, you should get legal advice.
You will need to complete the following forms:
You can download these forms from the Forms page on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
You don’t need to download the Application in a Proceeding if you eFile and select the guided process through the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
Before you start writing, you should get all the documents you want to attach to your Affidavit.
You should consider attaching documents that show your attempts at trying to contact and locate your spouse, including emails and text messages.
Before you complete your Application in a Proceeding, you must prepare your Affidavit.
In your Affidavit you must include:
Your introduction must include:
In the body of your Affidavit, you must explain all the steps you have taken to contact and locate your spouse, including:
You should annex any documents that show how you have attempted to contact your spouse, for example, emails or text messages.
Don’t sign your Affidavit until you are ready to have it witnessed.
Step by step guide: Preparing your Affidavit
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit - Dispensation of Service
Sample: Affidavit - Dispensation of Service
Once you have prepared your Affidavit you must sign it and have it witnessed by an authorised person (Justice of the Peace or lawyer).
To eFile your application online:
If you are completing your Application in a Proceeding by hand, you will need to include:
You can file your completed Application in a Proceeding and Affidavit in person at a court registry. You will need to take two copies.
To find a registry near you, see Court locations on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
You can also eFile your Application and Affidavit:
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Application in a Proceeding - Dispensation of Service
Sample: Application in a Proceeding - Dispensation of Service
If you don’t know how to complete the Affidavit, you should get legal advice.
Once you have filed your Application in a Proceeding and Affidavit, you need to prepare for the hearing.
At the hearing, the court must decide whether you have made all reasonable attempts to serve your spouse with the Application for Divorce.
If the court decides that you have, it will make orders to dispense with service. If this occurs, the court will then consider your divorce application.
If the court decides that you have not made all reasonable attempts to contact your spouse, it may adjourn your application to a later date and ask you to try to serve them again. You should make a note of any directions given by the court and comply with them.
For more information, see Going to the hearing.