VIC Serving Divorce Documents on Wife in UK?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mollis, 3 October 2016.

  1. Mollis

    Mollis Well-Known Member

    20 July 2015
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    Evening all...

    Bullet point summary and query at the bottom for anyone who would like to share their thoughts and/or experiences...

    • I (father) live in Australia with my 15 year old daughter and 12-year-old son
    • The mother who abducted and retained the children in 2014 and lost a Hague Convention action the same year in the UK and a subsequent international relocation case in Australia in 2015 lives in the UK
    • The mother pays no maintenance and a Child Support Agency case is ongoing in this regard
    • I am once again self-representing and have filed for divorce in the Family Court Australia and submitted an initiating application for a property settlement
    • I believe she will likely file the same in the UK and there will be an dispute over the jurisdiction

    My query is primarily in relation to the serving of the documents for the divorce and property settlement. I have engaged a Process Server in the UK who to date has been unsuccessful in serving the documents on my wife.

    They have visited the address where she has been living and the school she works at and had no response. Now that she has been alerted she is actively avoiding being served.

    I will likely need to follow the procedure for Substituted Service and wanted to check to see if there were any options that I have not tried that the court would expect me to have followed prior to going this route.

    The court date is in late November and the documents need to be served 40 days prior, so I have started to try all other options.

    To date these have included....

    • emailed the documents to her two active email accounts which are the only channels of communication we have. I have a tracker on this which has shown the first email has been opened on five occasions.
    • hard copies of the documents sent via registered mail to her place of employment and her last known address. These documents need to be signed for.
    • requested the Process Server visit her place of employment at least twice and request to speak with her and obtain the details of the person they meet with and to do the same with her home address.
    • obtain a sworn statement from the Process Server to confirm they had taken all steps possible to serve the documents on her.
    Is there anything I have missed? Should I put a post to contact me urgently on social media? Should I email and ask her to contact me urgently under false pretences and then copy the documents to her in my reply?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    It's hard to know, but the fundamental rule is that the Court needs to be satisfied that she has been made aware of the proceedings.

    I would argue your steps sound reasonable and I wouldn't say there's anything else that you should do, but even if the Court decides otherwise, the worst that will happen is that it might adjourn and give directions for the next hearing.

    I suppose an avenue you could consider if possible is to contact a member of her family, if there is anyone you are still in contact with, and request their asssistance. Like the process server, you'd need an affidavit from them confirming she was served, but I think your steps are otherwise reasonable.
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