Q&As

If a respondent’s home address and place of work are unknown to the petitioner, is it possible for the respondent to be personally served when they attend a court appointment in relation to separate court proceedings?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 20/08/2018

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:

  • If a respondent’s home address and place of work are unknown to the petitioner, is it possible for the respondent to be personally served when they attend a court appointment in relation to separate court proceedings?

It is assumed that this Q&A is asking about personal service of a divorce petition, given the reference to the ‘petitioner’. In the first instance, a divorce petition will usually be served by first class post on a respondent, although Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 6.4 provides that it is permissible to serve a divorce petition by way of the following other options:

  1. personal service in accordance with FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.7

  2. other service which provides for delivery on the next business day in accordance with FPR 2010, PD 6A

  3. where FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.11 applies (where the respondent has a solicitor acting for them, and the applicant has been notified in writing that the solicitor is instructed by the respondent to accept service of the application), by way of document exchange (DX)

See Practice Note: Service of applications for matrimonial and civil partnership orders within the jurisdiction.

In the scenario of this Q&A, the respondent’s home address and work address are unknown

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