Family Court of Western Australia

Serving a divorce application

Service is the process of giving a court document to the other party.

Divorce applications require special service, as it is important to show that your spouse is aware you have initiated divorce proceedings, and knows what you have said in the application.

Remember - If you and your spouse have made a joint application together, you do not need to serve the application on each other.

Once you have lodged your application, you will have to serve it on your spouse. There are two methods of service:

After serving the documents, you have to file proof of service to the Court.

Timeframe for service

After lodging your application, you will be given a date for your first hearing. This date sets the timeframe for serving the application. The documents must be served:

  • If your spouse is in Australia - at least 28 days before the hearing.
  • If your spouse is overseas - at least 42 days before the hearing.

Your application needs to have been filed and accepted by the Court before you can serve it.

Corroboration of service

If your spouse does not sign the acknowledgement of service, respond to the application or attend the hearing, the Court will usually require additional evidence that the application was served. The additional evidence can include an affidavit swearing that:

  • You provided a photo of your spouse to the server (using the Affidavit of Proof of Identity) or
  • You recognise your spouse’s signature on the Acknowledgment of Service (using the Affidavit of Proof of Signature).

More information

The following pages have more information on the divorce application service process:


Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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