Q&As

Can a respondent be served with a divorce petition while in prison and can an application be made for deemed service?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 07/03/2018

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a respondent be served with a divorce petition while in prison and can an application be made for deemed service?

Once an application for a matrimonial order has been issued by the court (for example, an application for a decree of divorce), a copy of the application must be served on the respondent and on any co-respondent (Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 7.8). The copy of the application must be accompanied by a form for acknowledging service and a notice of proceedings.

Service in the first instance is usually by first-class post. The option to serve the application personally is an alternative and is not obligatory. If the respondent returns the acknowledgment of service, this will be sufficient confirmation that service was effective.

Further efforts need to be made if the respondent fails to return the acknowledgment of service. In such a scenario, FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.16 provides that if an applica

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