Q&As

What is the procedure for an application for an order dispensing with service of a divorce or dissolution application? — 2022

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Last updated on 10/05/2022

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  • What is the procedure for an application for an order dispensing with service of a divorce or dissolution application?

What is the procedure for an application for an order dispensing with service of a divorce or dissolution application?

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDSA 2020) came into force on 6 April 2022. Fundamental changes were made to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, including a completely new Pt 7 (FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 7.1) (Procedure for applications in matrimonial and civil partnership proceedings) and changes to Pt 6 (FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 6.1) as to service of applications for matrimonial and civil partnership orders. These changes only apply to cases that were issued on or after 6 April 2022. See Practice Note: Introduction to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020.

In relation to proceedings that were issued prior to 6 April 2022 the original FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 6 and Pt 7 still apply. Therefore it is important to refer to the rules and Practice Notes that apply depending on when the application was issued.

Where, in divorce proceedings, the respondent has not filed the acknowledgment of service, then it falls upon the petitioner to prove service. This could be by effecting personal service through the court bailiff or by an enquiry agent employed by the petitioner or by proving service has taken place by making an application for deemed service. This will apply when the petitioner can prove to

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Dispensing with service definition
What does Dispensing with service mean?

The court has the power to order that the claim form or other documents do not need to be served, notwithstanding the service rules in CPR 6. This only applies in exceptional circumstances.

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