Service of the Originating Summons

The Originating Summons for divorce together with the relevant documents must be served on the Defendant. Service may be effected by personal service, registered post or a substituted mode of service, and has to be effected within 12 months from the date of filing of the Originating Summons.  You may also wish to refer to the sections on: As a Defendant, if you have been served with the Originating Summons, you are required to acknowledge receipt of the Originating Summons and file your Memorandum of Defence within 21 days.

Service of the Originating Summons Personal


Personal service may be effected by a Court Process Server or by a solicitor or by an authorised solicitor’s clerk.

If you have chosen and paid to have the Originating Summons served via personal service by the Court Process Server, you must provide the Court with your spouse’s (the Defendant’s) last known local residential address so that the Court can send a letter to your spouse to accept the service of the documents at the Syariah Court. If your spouse (the Defendant) does not collect the Originating Summons in person at the Syariah Court, the Court Process Server will make ONE attempt to serve the Originating Summons at the address you provided.

Service of the Originating Summons Registered Post


If you have chosen to have the Originating Summons served by registered post, you must send the complete set of filed documents, together with a blank Acknowledgement of Service Form and a blank Memorandum of Defence Form, to your spouse via registered post. Your spouse (the Defendant) is required to sign and return the Acknowledgement of Service to you. When you receive the signed Acknowledgement of Service Form from your spouse, you must file it in Court. If this document is not filed in Court, the service of the Originating Summons on your spouse via registered post (without a Court order) is considered not to have been effected.

You may download the Acknowledgement of Service form from our website here.

Service of the Originating Summons Substituted Service


If personal service, or service by registered post, of the Originating Summons for divorce is unsuccessful or impossible (such as because your spouse’s (Defendant’s) whereabouts are unknown), the divorce proceedings must still be brought to your spouse’s (Defendant’s) notice. This may be done by alternative methods (known as substituted service) such as newspaper advertisement, registered post (without the need for Defendant to return the Acknowledgement of Service) or electronic mail. You may apply to the Court for an order for substituted service. The application is made by filing a summons with a supporting affidavit.

You may refer to the filing instruction from our website here.

Please click here for the estimated filing fees

You will know the outcome of your application after 3 working days. If your application is granted, you will be required to make payment for the Court order that would specify the selected mode of substituted service. You will then have to serve the Originating Summons according to the method stated in the Court Order. Thereafter you must file the Affidavit of Service.

Important: You should not carry out the substituted service until you have obtained the Court order allowing the substituted service.