Maintenance Act, 1994

Central Authority.

4.—(1) (a) The Minister may by order appoint a Central Authority (“the Central Authority”) to discharge the functions required of it under this Act or required of a central authority under the Rome Convention or of a transmitting agency or receiving agency under the New York Convention.

(b) Pending the appointment of a Central Authority the Minister shall discharge its functions, and references in this Act to the Central Authority shall be construed accordingly as references to the Minister.

(c) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order made under this section.

(2) (a) For the purposes of section 8 of the Enforcement of Court Orders Act, 1940 , of the Acts of 1976, 1988 and 1993 (as amended by this Act) and of this Act the Central Authority shall have authority to act on behalf of, as the case may be, a maintenance creditor or claimant, within the meaning of section 13 (1), and references in those enactments to a maintenance creditor or claimant shall be construed as including references to the Central Authority.

(b) Where the Central Authority so acts, payments of maintenance shall be made directly to the maintenance creditor or claimant unless the Central Authority requests that they be made to a public authority in the jurisdiction where the maintanance creditor or claimant resides.