The Divorce Process

Step 3
Applicant serves the documents

The applicant keeps the original civil bill and a copy of the affidavits for their records. They send a copy of the civil bill and all affidavits to the respondent. Photocopies are acceptable. Alternatively, the applicant's legal representative can send these. This is called serving.

The applicant serves the documents on the respondent by registered post or in person. The applicant can also serve the documents on the respondent's solicitor, provided that the solicitor agrees to accept service.

If the applicant does not have contact details for the respondent, they will need to ask the court for further instruction.

Proof of service

The court will ask for proof that the applicant has sent the documents to the respondent. This is called an Affidavit of Service. The applicant must sign all affidavits in person in front of a solicitor (but not their own solicitor) or Commissioner for Oaths to swear that the information given is correct.

In most circumstances the respondent has ten days to respond.

If the applicant is asking the court to make a decision about a pension, they must serve a notice to the trustees of the pension scheme.

More information on how to serve documents and proof of service >