Serving Documents

Last Reviewed: April 2022 Reviewed by: JES Download

There are a lot of documents that need to be exchanged between the parties in a divorce proceeding. Serving documents is the process of giving another party a document filed with the court, according to the Rules. It is important to follow the rules and timelines for service or it could cause delay and other issues with your application.

Different documents require different types of service. The documents that start a family claim or divorce proceedings must usually be served “personally”, meaning the document must be physically left with the person you are serving. Other documents can be served by “ordinary” service which can mean simply mailing the document or emailing it if an email was provided as an address for service. Read the rules to see what kind of service is required, how to prove service, and when service is deemed completed so that you do not miss important deadlines.

Learn More

See Serve Supreme Court Documents from Legal Aid BC for a list of which documents require personal service and which only require ordinary service.

Serving the Notice of Family Claim

Once you have filed the Notice of Family Claim, you must serve it on the opposing party, personally. Personal service means that someone has to physically leave the documents with the person they are serving. The person who personally serves the other party must be someone over the age of 19 and cannot be a party to the action. 

The person who serves the opposing party will complete an Affidavit of Personal Service Form F15. This provides proof to the court that the person was given notice of the court case.

If you cannot serve the person personally because they do not have an address or any other reason, you can make an application to the court for alternative service.

Key Terms

To serve someone means to officially give them documents, according to the rules, in a way that can be proven to the court. Different documents require different types of service. Be sure to read the rules.

Learn More

For more information on service, see Serve Supreme Court documents, Legal Aid BC.

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