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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 Court forms on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.
You don’t need to download the Application in a Case if you eFile and select the guided process through the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
Before you start your application, 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 Case, 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 - Substituted Service
Sample: Affidavit - Substituted 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 in a Case online:
If you are completing your Application in a Case by hand, you will need to include:
You can file your completed Application in a Case and Affidavit in person at a Court registry. You will need to take two copies so that the Court can keep one.
To find a registry near you, see Court Locations New South Wales on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.
Don’t file your original Application in a Case and Affidavit - only file photocopies.
You can also eFile your application and Affidavit:
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Application in a Case - Substituted Service
Sample: Application in a Case - Substituted Service
Once you have filed your Application in a Case 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 and supporting documents.
If the Court decides that you have, it will make Substituted Service Orders. You should make a note of these directions and comply with them. Your matter will be adjourned to a future date to allow you to serve your spouse. If the Court decides that you have not made all reasonable attempts to contact your spouse, it may adjourn your application to a future date and ask you to try again.
For more information, see Going to the hearing.
If the Court has granted you Substituted Service Orders, you should serve your spouse, as ordered by the Court, as soon as possible.
If you don’t serve your spouse, your application may be adjourned (again) or dismissed.
After you have served your spouse, you must complete an Affidavit of Service (General). This is referred to as an Affidavit of Compliance in the Substituted Service Orders. This tells the Court you have served your spouse in accordance with Court Orders.
You can download an Affidavit of Service (General) from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.
After you have completed an Affidavit of Service (General), you should attach any proof of compliance, and you must get it witnessed.
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit of Service (General) – Substituted Service
Sample: Affidavit of Service (General) – Substituted Service
If you don’t know how to complete the Affidavit, you should get legal advice.
Once your Affidavit of Service (General) has been witnessed, you must file it with the Court. You can do this online or at a Court registry. The Court will usually specify dates for Affidavit to be filed.
Once you have filed your Affidavit for Service, you should prepare for the hearing.
For more information, see Going to the Hearing.