child support methods of service
1. personal service
There are several methods which the child support agency can avail in serving notice to the concerned person. Service is defined as the delivery to the person who will be affected by the notice. The essence of notice as enunciated in the case of Holmes and Ors v DFC of T 88 ATC 4906 is that the document must reach the person on whom it is to be served.
The presumption is that notice is deemed to have been effectively served if it can be proved that the addressee actually received it. In child support related proceedings, under Section 160 and 163 of the Evidence Act, a notice is presumed to have been received 9 days after the day it was prepared.
This is the most effective method of service because the notice is served directly to the addressee and there is a direct evidence of receipt. If the CSA uses this type of service a process server will be used who will execute an Affidavit of Service attesting that the notice was served to the person. If the addressee refuses to receive the notice, it can be left near him.
A written notice that is served by post may be through prepaid post, express post or registered post. Service by post is accomplished by:
- leaving the notice at the person's address for service, or
- sending the notice by prepaid post to the person's address for service.
It is only in limited circumstances that the CSA will resort to service by facsimile such as if:
There is a pre-existing arrangement with the recipient to accept notices through facsimile.
Necessary to ensure that an opportunity to collect child support is not missed.
With this type of service, CSA needs to confirm with the recipient the receipt of the notice and whether it was legible. Usually service by facsimile is resorted to if the urgent attention of the recipient is required but the faxed copy will not replace the notice sent by mail.
A person must consent to receive notice by electronic communication. The consent may be express or inferred (Section 5 Electronic Transactions Act). The email is received at the time it enters the person’s email system.
Regulation 11A Child Support (Assessment) Regulations 1989
Regulation 14 Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations 1988
Sections 160 and 163 Evidence Act 1995
Section 5 Electronic Transaction Act 1999
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.