What to do when spouse doesn’t return Acknowledgement of Service Form
In order for the divorce process to progress, the Court must be satisfied that the Respondent has received the Divorce Petition.
The Court usually obtains that confirmation by receipt of the Respondent’s completed Acknowledgment of Service form. However, in some cases, the Respondent refuses to engage with the divorce process and does not return the completed form to the Court. In this situation you have to prove to the Court in another way that the Respondent has received the Petition and associated documents. The most effective way of doing this is to arrange for the Respondent to be personally served with the documents.
Personal service takes place where a professional Process Server is instructed to visit the Respondent and physically hand the divorce documents to them. Once this has been done, the Process Server prepares a statement to the Court setting out when the documents were handed to the Respondent, who by and where. This statement is then filed with the Court and you are then able to progress the divorce process in applying for Decree Nisi.
In some situations it may take a number of attempts to personally serve the Respondent with the documents, if the Respondent is wilfully trying to avoid service. In cases where this happens the Process Server may decide to try visiting the Respondent at work or a regularly visited place such as the gym. The Process Server will always try to be discreet in arranging personal service to avoid any embarrassment.
If you are dealing with the divorce process yourself and have reached a stand still as your spouse is refusing to return the Acknowledgement form, we can assist you in arranging for them to be personally served with the documents.