Divorce documents must be served to the other spouse. If the spouse can’t be found, the applicant can apply for substituted service or dispensation of service.
Service of a divorce application to your spouse is necessary because he has the right to be informed that there is an application to terminate his marriage. The service is a notice to the other party of the institution of a court action. However, service is only required if it is a sole application for divorce. Service requirements are not needed for joint applications. The documents that need to be served to the spouse must first be filed with the court.
Service is the process of providing a spouse with copies of the divorce application.
The two options of service are by hand and by post. Service by hand is when the documents are handed over to the spouse by a person other than the applicant. The server may be anyone who is over 18 years of age. The service may also be performed by a professional process server whose service you have engaged. The spouse served will then sign that he has received the documents.
Service by post is done by mailing the documents to the spouse who must return to the applicant the signed acknowledgment of service. If there is no acknowledgment of service, the applicant might have to resort to service by hand.
You can apply to the court for substituted service or dispensation of service.
Substituted service is when the court will order a third person to receive the documents for the absent spouse. The court must be satisfied that this third person will be able to get the documents to the other spouse.
Dispensation of service is when the court will order the applicant to no longer serve the documents to the other spouse. In his affidavit, the applicant must state all the attempts he has made to locate his spouse. The court must be satisfied that the applicant has already exhausted all possible means of finding his spouse.
Here are some of the attempts that you must state in your affidavit as proof that you looked for your spouse: