Service of documents in family proceedings outside the jurisdiction
Service of documents in family proceedings outside the jurisdiction

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Service of documents in family proceedings outside the jurisdiction
  • Scope and interpretation
  • Acknowledging service or responding to an application
  • Service in Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • Service on a respondent outside the UK
  • Service on a party in an EU Member State—Service Regulation
  • Service in a Hague Convention country within Europe
  • Service in a Hague Convention country outside Europe
  • Service in a non-EU country not subject to the Hague Convention (other than a Commonwealth State, a British Overseas Territory, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)
  • Service in a Commonwealth State not a party to the Hague Convention, or in a British Overseas Territory, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Notes: Brexit and family law, What does IP completion day mean for family law? and Brexit—service of documents in family proceedings.

The rules about the service of application forms/notices and other documents in family proceedings outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and the procedure for service, are contained in chapter 4 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 6 (SI 2010/2955, 6.40–6.48). This is supplemented by FPR 2010, PD 6B.

Note that documents can be served out of the jurisdiction in family proceedings without the permission of the court.

The rules differ depending on where service is intended to take place, and tend to include a longer time limit for acknowledging service. There is a detailed table setting out the different time limits in FPR 2010, PD 6B.

The general rule is that where the applicant wishes to serve a document on a respondent out of the

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