How Do I Apply For Divorce If I Can’t Locate My Ex? – Podcast Episode 54

Welcome to another episode of the Divorce Collective podcast, where we continue our discussion from last week about the divorce process and whether attending court is necessary.


Today, Caralee Fontenele addresses a common question: “Can I still apply for a divorce if I cannot locate my ex-partner?” We understand that this can create additional challenges, but rest assured, there are solutions.


It is indeed possible to apply for a divorce even if you are unable to locate your ex-partner. Once you have filed your sole application for divorce, you are required to serve a sealed copy of the divorce papers to your ex-partner in person. Typically, this is done by a process server (we have an entire episode dedicated to explaining what a process server is).


However, if you are unable to locate your ex-partner, you can make an application to the court for substituted service or a dispensation of service. In this application, you must demonstrate to the court that you have made numerous attempts to contact your ex-partner.


If your application for substituted service is successful, you will be permitted to introduce a third party who can bring the divorce to the attention of your ex-spouse. In exceptional cases, the court may grant dispensation of service if you have exhausted all reasonable efforts to serve the divorce papers to your ex-partner.


To learn more about the process and explore your options, we invite you to listen to the full podcast episode. Additionally, you can book a free 45-minute consultation with our experienced team to discuss your specific situation.


At Collective Family Law, we serve clients all over Australia and can accommodate Zoom or in-person consultations. To book your consultation, please call us at 5574 0971 or visit our website at

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