Service of Family Law Commencement Documents Outside of Canada

Service of a commencement document refers to the process of providing the person(s) your Court action is against with a copy of the filed court document that starts your court action. The Alberta Rules of Court address methods of service and timelines for service, and these can vary depending on the type of document being served and whether the person being served is within Alberta, outside of Alberta but within Canada, or outside of Canada.

Commencing immediately, service of a family law commencement documents on someone located outside of Canada needs to follow the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters if the country you are serving the document in is a “contracting state”. The Court of Queen’s Bench website provides information regarding this process, including a helpful flowchart and instruction booklet.

We recommend seeking legal advice if you are unsure whether a court document needs to be served, how to serve it, when to serve it, where to serve it, what to do if you don’t know how to locate the person(s) you need to serve, and options you may have if serving someone creates a safety concern.

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