FAQ Questions we're asked commonly


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQ) (These answers are not intended to provide legal advise. For any legal advise please speak with your legal representative.

How do I get a divorce by doing it myself?

Visit  the Family law courts website. 

How many attempts do I get with the service fee

In normal circumstances 4 – 6 attempts within the Capital City region. (Note: Fees are charged per address. Within country or remote areas these attempts are limited depending on distance the agent has to travel. Accordingly it is important that you supply as much information about the respondent’s routine if known. (ie: Works from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM) as this will reduce unnecessary attempts at your expense. Ensure the address is correct to avoid additional address charges. An incorrect street number could cost an additional fee.

What happens if you can’t serve my ex partner with the Family Law document?

If for any reason we are unable to serve the respondent, our office will complete an “Affidavit of Attempted Service”.  This affidavit is vital for your case, and you will then need to present this affidavit to the court. This affidavit is evidence that you have attempted to serve your respondent. If the respondent avoids service the court may make a decision to proceed with your case, or it may provide you with further direction to serve the document by way of Substituted Service. Our office can explain this further should the document not be served. The court will also assist and provide direction on the hearing date.

How long does it take to complete service?

We could answer this question with “How long is a piece of string?”  Service time varies, and can take 24 hours or it can take a couple of weeks. At Nautilus we action your file within 24 hours of receipt.  The agent will then attempt service at the address. However if the respondent is not home at this time the agent is unable to wait around. Our agent will then return at a later date for a further attempt, and vary his times. As soon as the respondent answers the door, the document will be served. Our agents attend several times over a two week period. Within this time the document is normally served or evidence is obtained to establish that the respondent may be avoiding.

Can I email the document to you?

If your document has been eFiled with the court, then yes you can email the document to our office at [email protected] (Depending on the size of the document a print charge may be applicable)

If your document has been physically lodged at the court, then we ask that the stamped copy is sent to our office for service.

What happens if the defendant avoids service?

On some occasions we do have people who wish to avoid service.  There are rules within the service Act which allow automatic substituted service where the document can be left at the address in a special fashion. Our office can explain these to you. Unfortunately certain documents do not have this allowance. It is then up to you personally to prove to the court that the respondent is avoiding service and that the only way to get the document to the person is by an Order through the court for Substituted service.

In order to apply to the court, we will first need to make a number of attempts, to the address, leave messages, attempt to call the defendant, and most importantly, CONFIRM THE ADDRESS.  Unless the address is confirmed the likely hood of the order being approved by the court will be very slim at best.

Once the address has been confirmed and sufficient attempts have been made (4 or so) the agent will complete an affidavit of attempted service.  This affidavit will then need to be presented to the court with a request to have the document served in an alternative fashion. This method could be: i) Post, ii) Leaving it at the address with another resident of age, iii) Affixing to the door or iv) Leaving it in the mail box, or v) email or another suggestion made by the court, or iv) All of above.

Once this order is obtained from the court, we can then proceed with a new service as allowed/instructed by the court.

The document has been served and I now have your affidavit. What do I do with it?

Once you receive our affidavit of service, take a copy of it for your own personal record. Our original affidavit must then be lodged at the court house prior to the hearing date.

My affidavit has been lost in the post or I have lost the affidavit!

Don’t panic.  Our office can complete a new affidavit for you. This can normally be completed in a few days depending on where the service took place. Remote and country regions will take longer. If you have lost the affidavit or the affidavit has not arrived by post, please do not leave it to the last minute. Contact our office immediately 02 9629-9775.  Please note the ‘acknowledgment of service’ which may have been signed by the respondent can NOT be reproduced, however our affidavit should be sufficient to get service accepted.