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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.
Before you can serve your spouse, you will need to know:
If you don’t know where your spouse is, you must contact Corrective Services.
You must serve your spouse with:
You don’t need to serve your spouse with:
To download sealed copies of your documents from the Commonwealth Courts Portal:
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.
To serve your spouse, you must write a letter to the General Manager of the prison asking them to:
You should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope so the General Manager can post the signed Acknowledge of Service (Divorce) back to you.
Sample: Letter to the General Manager of the prison
You must write a Notice of Court Attendance to your spouse advising:
You must also give them a copy of Rule 15.18 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021.
Sample: Notice of Court Attendance
Before 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.
Do not post any documents with paper clips, staples or other metal or sharp objects.
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:
Don’t sign your Affidavit until you are ready to have it witnessed.
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce)
Sample: 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:
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.
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) – in prison
Sample: Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) – in prison
For more information, see Going to the hearing.