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The Proper Way to Server Child Support Papers

Serving child support papers in Florida is a critical part of the legal process. Child support papers are legal documents that notify a parent of their responsibility to financially support their child. Proper service of these papers ensures that the parent is aware of the legal proceedings and has the opportunity to respond to the allegations. Let’s look at the steps to properly serve child support papers in Florida:

Step 1: File the Order

The first step in serving child support papers in Florida is to file the case with the Florida Department of Revenue. This can be done online or by phone. Once your case is filed and approved, you will be provided with documents to serve to the parent or other person responsible for financially supporting the child in question.

Step 2: Hire a Process Server

It is at this point that we suggest you pass along your paperwork to a professional process server. In Florida, the process can only be served by law enforcement or a certified private process server. Since law enforcement has so many other responsibilities and places where they are needed, choose a private process server instead. In Broward, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties, Accurate Serve® is ready to help you with all your child support paperwork service needs.

Step 3: Identify & Find the Recipient

Once we receive your order to serve child support paperwork, we will get started immediately researching the recipient of the paperwork. Along with demographic information about the person, we will also identify places where they are likely to be so service attempts can be planned.

Step 4: Choose a Method of Service

In Florida, child support papers should be served by personal service. Personal service involves delivering the papers directly to the noncustodial parent. If personal service is not possible, the papers may be served by mail with prior approval by a judge. However, if the noncustodial parent does not respond to the papers, they may claim they were not received and dispute the case. This is another reason why using a professional process server is ideal. We know exactly how to send the process via mail so that it complies with Florida statutes, leaving the defendant without a leg to stand on.

Step 5: Serve the Child Support Papers

Once the child support paperwork has been identified and located, and a method of service has been chosen, the process server can serve the child support papers. If serving by personal service, the process server must ensure that the papers are delivered to the correct person. If serving by mail, the papers must be sent in accordance with state laws.

Step 6: File Proof of Service

After the child support papers have been served, the process server must file proof of service with the court. The proof of service provides evidence that the papers were properly served and delivered to the appropriate party. In Florida, the proof of service (also called a return of service) must include:

  • the date and time when the process comes to the server’s hand
  • the date and time when it is served
  • the manner of service
  • the name of the person on whom it was served, and, if the person is served in a representative capacity, the position occupied by the person
  • a list of all pleadings and documents served and be signed by the person who effects the service of process (signature may be electronic)

Southern Florida’s Premier Process Service Agency

Serving child support papers in Florida is a critical part of the child welfare process. When you need a reliable, competent process server to serve child support papers in Plantation, Key West, Miami, West Palm Beach, or surrounding areas, call Accurate Serve at 954-299-1552, email [email protected], or send us a work request online.