Harold G Walker

Harold G Walker Solicitors

Your Friend-In-Law for over 77 years

divorce application, Family Law Solicitor, Non-Court Dispute Resolution

Divorce – service procedure







Issuing you application and acknowledgement by your spouse.

When we issue your no-fault divorce application to the court for you, your spouse must acknowledge that they have received it and have no objections to the divorce going ahead. They must do this within fourteen days of receipt of the application. If they do not, you cannot proceed with the application to the next stage. However, there are remedies available.


Personal service of the application to your spouse.

As your solicitors, we are permitted to personally hand the application to your spouse for you. Alternatively, we can get a private tracing company to find them and serve for you provided they can give us evidence of this method of service on your spouse.


Court service.

For a small fee we can ask the Court bailiff to deliver the application to them. Court bailiffs are very busy though so there is likely to be a delay. The courts don’t like their precious time taken up either when they have us or a tracing company to do it for them. So, leave it to us.

It may be that we know they’ve received it. Can you or someone else prove that? Let us know. We may be able to write to the Court about this for you.


Alternative methods of service.

Let’s say we’ve exhausted these attempts without success. We then tell the Court of our efforts and ask them for permission to serve it in an alternative way. For example, serving it on someone they are living with, or working with, or a close relative. Notice in newspapers is another alternative, either printed traditionally, online, or both.

A search through the DWP or the passport service may assist. If they are in the forces, we can ask the relevant authorities for an address.


Service abroad.

Don’t worry if your spouse is abroad. We can serve it there. Special rules apply though where they’re under 18 or lack mental capacity. But we can help here too.


Last resort.

In the event that even this fails, the final method is to ask the Court to dispense with the requirement to serve the application. This is considered the absolute last resort because every conceivable alternative will have been exhausted without success. We would apply to the Court, then we would see the judge and explain.


We can explain the mechanics of the divorce application process to you anytime if you wish to take advantage of our free initial consultation.