How to get a divorce if Ex does not want to Divorce?

How to get a divorce if Ex does not want to Divorce?

Many couples choose to make a joint application for Divorce but what if you ex will not agree or you do not know where they are?

In such circumstances you can make a sole Application for Divorce.  There are some different steps that you have to take compared to when making a joint application and if they can not be located, then some additional steps must be taken.

Regardless of whether you are making a joint or sole Application for Divorce, you must be the requirements for the Court to grant a divorce, that is:

  • The marriage has broken down and there is no reasonable chance that the parties will get back together;
  • You have been separated for 12 months when you apply;
  • Eith you or your spouse must either be an Australian or regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely or have lived in Australia for 12 months before applying for a divorce;

If you meet the requirements you can then apply on your own or jointly with your ex.

If your ex is not cooperating you can make a sole application.  If you make a sole application and your ex refuses to sign the Acknowledgement of Service, your ex will need to be personally served. 

Your ex can be served by anyone over the age of 18 years but you.  Most people will engage a process server (bailiff) to serve their ex but you can ask a friend or relative to serve them. 

At CLT Family Law if we are organising the process server we will normally ask you for a photo of your ex, so if your ex is being difficult the process server can use the photo to identify your ex and then put the documents down in their presence.

If you don’t know where your ex is to serve them with the documents, at CLT Family Law we can assist you with searches or engaging people locators to attempt to locate your ex.  Don’t worry you aren’t expected to spend large amounts of money to find them but you do need to take reasonable steps to find them first.

If they can not be located, the next step is to ask the Court to allow substituted service or to dispense with service. 

Substituted service allows the documents to be emailed, posted, sent to them via social media or given to a third party to give to them (this may be a friend or relative that you are pretty sure they are in contact with or knows how to contact them).

Dispensation of service is where the Court will waive the need to serve the documents.  This is only granted in very limited circumstances.

Where your ex is not being cooperative and an Application is needed to be made for substituted service or to dispense with service, we strongly encourage you to seek advice from a local expert family law, Carmel at CLT Family Law has the expertise and experience to help you get your divorce.