We recently had an enquiry whereby the Wife wants to start a Divorce Proceeding against her Husband. However, the Husband could not be located.
A divorce starts with filing a divorce petition. Generally, the Divorce Petition must be served personally. However, if the Divorce Petition could not be served personally, the Divorce Petition could be served by way of substituted service.
If the Divorce Petition could not be served personally, the alternative provided by law is to make a notice of application to the Court to service of divorce petition by way of substituted service (ex-parte) according to Rule 12(9) of Divorce & Matrimonial Proceedings Rules 1980.
The documents required to file for this application are notice of application, affidavit in support and affidavit of non-service.
The Court would usually order that the Divorce Petition be served by (a) posting the Divorce Petition at the Respondent’s last known address and (b) advertising a notice in the local news paper. Once this is done, the service of the Divorce Papers is deemed complete.
Thereafter the Petition can apply to Court for a Hearing date to hear the Divorce Petition.