​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Step-by-step guide icon Step by step guide - Serving your spouse in prison

Alert IconIf you are concerned about your residential address being disclosed to your spouse or are afraid to contact them, you should get legal advice.

Step 1: Get their details

Before you can serve your spouse, you will need to know:

  • the name of the prison where they are located, and
  • their Master Index Number (MIN). 

If you don’t know where your spouse is, you must contact Corrective Services

Step 2: Get your documents

You must serve your spouse with:

  • a sealed copy of your Application for Divorce or a sealed copy of your Affidavit for eFiling Application (Divorce)
  • a sealed copy of your Affidavit
  • a copy of the Marriage, families and separation brochure
  • any other documents filed with the court 
  • Notice of court attendance
  • a copy of Rule 5.07 Family Law Rules 2004.

You don’t need to serve your spouse with:

  • your marriage certificate, citizenship or identification documents
  • Application for reduction of payment divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship.

To download sealed copies of your documents from the Commonwealth Courts Portal:

  1. log onto the portal
  2. select ‘Available Files’
  3. select your file number
  4. under ‘Existing Applications’ select the plus symbol
  5. under ‘Documents Filed’ select the document. 

You will also need to download an Acknowledgement of Service (Divorce) for the person in charge of the prison to sign and return to you.  This is proof the documents have been served on your spouse.

Step 3: Write a cover letter to the General Manager of the prison

To serve your spouse, you must write a letter to the General Manager of the prison asking them to:

  • serve your spouse with the documents enclosed with your letter, and 
  • sign the Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) and return it to you.  

You should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so the General Manager can post the signed Acknowledge of Service (Divorce) back to you. 

Icon - sample/instructionsSample: Letter to the General Manager of the prison 

Step 4: Write a Notice of Court Attendance to your spouse

You must write a Notice of Court Attendance to your spouse advising:

  • the date, time and location of the divorce hearing, and
  • how they can attend the hearing.

You must also give them a copy of Rule 5.07 of the Family Law Rules 2004. 

Icon - sample/instructionsSample: Notice of Court Attendance

Step 5: Mail your documents to the prison

Hint iconBefore you send your letter you should make a copy of the documents you post to your spouse and the General Manager of the prison.  A copy of all documents should be included as annexures to your Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce).

Post your documents to the prison’s postal address. You can get the address by selecting the prison from Correctional Centres in NSW on the Correctional Services NSW website.

Address your envelope to the General Manager of the prison. 

Alert IconDo not post any documents with paper clips, staples or other metal or sharp objects.

Step 6: Prepare your Affidavit of Service 

To prove to the Court you have served your spouse, you must prepare and file an Affidavit of Service (Divorce).  You must attach to it the Acknowledgement of Service (Divorce) returned to you from the General Manager of the prison. 

You must include the following information in your Affidavit:

  • your full name and your spouse’s full name
  • your spouse’s current prison location
  • the date you posted your documents to the General Manager of the prison
  • a list of the documents served on your spouse. 

Alert IconDon’t sign your Affidavit until you are ready to have it witnessed. 

Icon - sample/instructionsInstructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce)

Icon - sample/instructionsSample: Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce)

When you sign your Affidavit, you must have it witnessed by an authorised person (Justice of the Peace or Lawyer).

The authorised person must sign the following:

  • Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) - Annexure note
  • Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce) – Part C. 

Step 7: File your Affidavit of Service

After your Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce) and Acknowledgement of Service (Divorce) have been signed and witnessed, you must file them with the Court before the divorce hearing. They are your proof that the documents have been served on your spouse in prison. 

You can file your documents online via the Commonwealth Courts Portal or at a Court registry. 

After you have filed your documents you may need to prepare to go to the hearing.

Icon - sample/instructionsInstructions: Instructions for completing an Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) – in prison

Icon - sample/instructionsSample: Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) – in prison

For more information, see Going to the hearing.