Deemed service in a divorce

What is deemed service?

‘Deemed service’ is the legal term for when the Court accepts that the respondent has received a copy of the divorce application.

The easiest way to prove deemed service is for a respondent to return their acknowledgement of service form. This is the form that is sent out to them by the court, with the divorce application.


But what happens if the respondent isn’t cooperating with the divorce?

It is important that a respondent knows about the divorce application and has the opportunity to object if they believe that something hasn’t been done properly or that the English/Welsh court doesn’t have jurisdiction.

The usual rule is that until the applicant can prove that the respondent has received a copy of the application they will not be able to apply for the conditional order or final order.

When a respondent is not cooperating, for whatever reason, and is not returning the acknowledgement of service form, this can cause a problem and delay.

However, if the applicant can show that the respondent has received the application, in some other way, they have the option to apply for an ‘order that the respondent is deemed served’.


How to apply for deemed service in a divorce application

The application is made online using a D11 form, with a statement in support.

The .gov website does not have a standard statement in support for deemed service and does not offer guidance as to what ought to be included.

If you want to make an application for deemed service or would like help with the divorce process, but don’t know where to begin, please give us a call.

Please contact our family team we will be happy to help!