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Application for Divorce where Spouse Could Not be Located

In December 2006, Berrigan Doube Lawyers was successful in attaining a grant of divorce from the Federal Magistrates’ Court of Australia for a Client after several months of hard work.

The parties were married in Australia, however after the marriage broke down and the parties separated, the wife moved to her country of origin, Japan. The Client, an Australian citizen remained in Australia. We were instructed subsequently to lodge the Application for Divorce in Australia.

The parties had no contact with each other within the five months preceding the hearing, therefore the Application for Divorce was sent to the wife’s last known address in Japan.  Berrigan Doube Lawyers successfully located and contacted the wife to confirm that she had received the Application for Divorce, but upon been made aware that Berrigan Doube Lawyers were acting on behalf of the husband in the matter, the wife refused to answer any further calls from us or the Client. A few weeks after the Application for Divorce was sent, it was returned to our office as it had not been claimed.

The Client was now faced with the problem of how his divorce would be granted if the Court did not receive the Acknowledgment of Service of the Application for Divorce.

We then took immediate action to locate the physical whereabouts of wife in Japan. After exhausting all possible resources available to us in order locate her, it was evident that the wife could not or did not want to be found.

Accordingly, Berrigan Doube Lawyers filed an Application for Dispensation of Service and supporting Affidavits which was to be heard on the same day of the divorce hearing. After a sleepless night for the Client, Berrigan Doube Lawyers appeared at the divorce hearing on behalf of the Client and was successful in convincing the Registrar that the wife was evading service and that we had done everything possible to try and locate her in order to effect service of the documents. As a result, the Registrar granted the divorce.

If you have any queries in relation to Divorce or Family Law matter, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.