We serve Family Court Documents throughout the South West, it is actually one of our specialties.
Family Court Documents Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Personal Service?
By definition, Personal Service is where documents are served by hand to another party. The Family Court requires Personal Service of documents. Further to this Family Court requires that the person the documents are intended to be served on is done so on that person directly and not on any other party.
- Who can receive the documents?
To reiterate Personal Service as explained above, when it comes to Family Court documents they must be served personally, which means no other person can accept the documents other than the person they are intended for.
- What happens if the person the documents are intended refuses to accept service of documents or refuses to the sign the Acknowledgement of Service?
Process Serving is a profession taken on by very intuitive people who have the experience in negotiating many situations. Generally how the Process Server approaches the person who the document is intended is the key to affecting service.
Therefore on first approach the Process Server will establish the identity of the intended person, by asking them to acknowledge their name, however, if they then refuse to accept the service of the documents or sign the Acknowledgement of Service, the Process Server will then show the documents to the intended person and then place the court documents at their feet and this is accepted as Personal Service.
In the event the person who the documents are intended denies their identity when approached by the Process Server, it becomes difficult to effect service as we can not prove their identity. However, there are ways around this described in the next question.
The process server will outline all details of what happened at the time of service in the Sworn Affidavit of Service.
- Why do I need a photograph?
A photograph helps to identify the person the documents are intended for, the photo ensures the Process Server is able to effect service smoothly and without incident, in the event, the receiver refuses either to accept the documents or denies their identity. Therefore it is a requirement that all Family Court documents are accompanied by a photograph of the person who is to receive the documents.
- What time frame do I need to have my documents served?
With Family Court documents that are being served in Australia, you are required to have the documents served on the person whom the documents are intended 28 days before the hearing date.
You must allow Process Servers Zone 7 to 10 days from the time the Process Server receives the documents, for the documents to be served.
If you require the documents to be served within 7 to 10 days you must select urgent service when paying and your documents will be given priority.
- What is Urgent Service?
As stated above if your documents require service within seven days of being received by the Process-Server an urgent fee will be incurred. To ensure you have sufficient time for service please check your documents for times and dates.
- Why do I need to give additional information such as work addresses?
A professional Process Server makes every effort to effect service within the time frame given and with as little fuss as possible. So by providing a work address in the event, the Process Server is unable to hit upon the person who the documents are intended at the initial address they have an alternative address to go to.
- How many times will the Process Server try to serve my documents?
The process server will make 3 (three) attempts at serving your documents.
- What happens after the 3rd attempt?
Generally, after the 3rd attempt, the Process Server is unable to locate the person who the documents are intended at the given residential address or work address. The documents will be returned un-served with a report outlining the actions completed. At this stage, depending on the reasons for nonservice you may require other services such as Skip Tracing. Otherwise, if it is that the person was away or just not at the address at the times the Process Server attended then you will be required to resubmit the documents for a further fee. See ‘what I get for my money’
- What happens if the person who the documents are intended no longer resides or works at the given addresses?
If we are unable to serve the person intended for the documents using any of the information you have provided and investigations find the person no longer resides or works at any of the addresses, the Process Server will do minor investigations to find out more information on your behalf.
If a new address is procured by the Process Server, they may attend the new address providing
1. The new address is within the Process Servers Zoning,
2. The Process Server has not already made 3 (three) attempts previously.
In the event, the Process Server was unable to find any information the documents may have to be submitted for Skip Tracing.
- Why do I need a professional Process Server?
Firstly if you are the person who is the applicant or the person who has applied to the court for the orders, you cannot serve the intended person to receive the documents yourself. The documents must be served by a third party.
A Process Server is a person who is able to serve legal court documents for any court case. As you can see from the information provide here in our frequently asked questions, there is a great deal to know and understand when serving court documents. Therefore it is wise to use a professional who understands the procedures and more importantly is emotionally detached. A professional Process Server affects the service correctly and provides sworn affidavits and other documentation necessary for lodgement at the court registry.
- What happens after I have received the documents back from the Process Server?
You need to gather all your documents including the following forms and lodge them at the court registry before the court date.
Form 7 Affidavit of Service
Form 6 Acknowledgment of Service
And any other Affidavits you have to file
What happens after my documents have been served
Once the documents have been served by Southwest Collections, they must be returned to the Family Court to be filed. This means they are processed and lodged alongside any other corresponding documentation that may be required for the hearing.
- If the case pertains to a divorce, once the documents have been served, the affidavit is sworn and returned to you with the signed acknowledgment of service and our report, you (the applicant) must first fill out and have sworn/affirmed by a Justice of the Peace an affidavit of proof of signature.
- Once this has been sworn/affirmed you must attach a copy of the acknowledgment of service to this form.
- You must then attach the original affidavit of service and original acknowledgment of service to one another. These forms are then to be placed into an envelope and lodged with the court, by post or in person.
- It is your responsibility to ensure the documents have been received by the court and to find out whether all information is correct and if you to supply any further documentation.
What happens if they refuse to accept the documents?
- If the respondent refused to sign the acknowledgment of service at the time and was recognised by a photograph, once our documents have been returned, you must fill out and swear/affirm an affidavit of proof of identity. This needs to be returned to the court attached to the affidavit of service.
- A photograph must be attached to the affidavit of service. This is to verify that the person served is the respondent, and the applicant verifies this.
If the case regards to any other Family Court case (excepting divorce) the documents that need to be returned to the court are the original acknowledgment and affidavit of service.
*** It is in the best interest of you (the applicant) to send the original and a copy of the acknowledgment/affidavit, and request the court return a stamped copy back to the applicant. It still remains the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documentation has been received and is true and correct.
In the event that the documents were unable to be served, for example, the respondent actively avoided service, failed to show up to accept service, has moved address etc. the server will send a report detailing times and dates that service was attempted. It is then the applicant’s responsibility to approach the court and advise them service was unsuccessful. The court will then provide the appropriate documents for this situation.