Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
10/23/2020

Article 2. Public Assistance.

§ 63.2-1908. Payment of public assistance for child or custodial parent constitutes debt to Department by noncustodial parents; limitations; Department subrogated to rights.

Any payment of public assistance money made to or for the benefit of any dependent child or children or their custodial parent creates a debt due and owing to the Department by the person or persons who are responsible for support of such children or custodial parent in an amount equal to the amount of public assistance money so paid. Where there has been a court order for support, final decree of divorce ordering support, or administrative order under the provisions of this chapter for support, the debt shall be limited to the amount of such order or decree. The Commissioner, pursuant to § 63.2-1922, shall establish the debt in an amount determined to be consistent with a noncustodial parent's ability to pay. The Department shall have the right to petition the appropriate court for modification of a court order on the same grounds as either party to such cause.

The Department shall be subrogated to the right of such child or children or custodial parent to prosecute or maintain any support action or execute any administrative remedy existing under the laws of the Commonwealth to obtain reimbursement of moneys thus expended and may collect on behalf of any such child, children or custodial parent any amount contained in any court order of support or any administrative order of support regardless of whether or not the amount of such orders exceeds the amount of public assistance paid. Any support paid in excess of the total amount of public assistance paid shall be returned to the custodial parent by the Department. If a court order for support or final decree of divorce ordering support enters judgment for an amount of support to be paid by such noncustodial parent, the Department shall be subrogated to the debt created by such order, and said money judgment shall be deemed to be in favor of the Department. In any judicial proceeding brought by an attorney on behalf of the Department pursuant to this section to enforce a support obligation in which the Department prevails, attorney's fees shall be assessed pursuant to § 63.2-1960.

The Department shall have the authority to pursue establishment and enforcement actions against the person responsible for support after the closure of the public assistance case unless the custodial parent notifies the Department in writing that child support enforcement services are no longer desired.

Debt created by an administrative support order under this section shall not be incurred by nor at any time be collected from a noncustodial parent who is the recipient of public assistance moneys for the benefit of minor dependent children for the period such person or persons are in such status. Recipients of federal supplemental security income shall not be subject to the establishment of an administrative support order while they receive benefits from that source.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-251; 1975, c. 596; 1976, c. 357; 1977, cc. 538, 662; 1985, c. 488; 1988, c. 907; 1992, c. 716; 1993, cc. 534, 602; 1995, c. 450; 2002, c. 747; 2020, c. 550.

§ 63.2-1908.1. Arrears compromise program.

The Department may establish and operate an arrears compromise program pursuant to which it may compromise child support arrears and interest accrued thereon owed to the Commonwealth for reimbursement of public assistance paid. The program shall take into consideration the obligor's ability to pay.

2015, c. 506.

§ 63.2-1909. Receipt of public assistance for child as assignment of right in support obligation; Commissioner as attorney for endorsing drafts.

By accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, the recipient shall be deemed to have made an assignment to the Department of any and all right, title, and interest in any support obligation and arrearages owed to or for such child or children or custodial parent up to the amount of public assistance money paid for or on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent for such term of time as such public assistance moneys are paid; provided, however, that the Department may thereafter continue to collect any outstanding support obligation or arrearage owed to the Department as a result of such assignment up to the amount of public assistance money paid for or on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent which has not been paid by the noncustodial parent. The recipient shall also be deemed, without the necessity of signing any document, to have appointed the Commissioner as his or her true and lawful attorney-in-fact to act in his or her name, place, and stead to perform the specific act of endorsing any and all drafts, checks, money orders or other negotiable instruments representing support payments which are received on behalf of such child or children or custodial parent as reimbursement for the public assistance moneys previously paid to such recipient.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-273; 1976, cc. 357, 549; 1977, c. 662; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1910. Payment of foster care expenditures for child constitutes debt to local department by noncustodial parents; limitations; local department subrogated to rights.

Any payment by a local department or public agency designated by a community policy and management team for room, board, and social services for a child in the custody of, or placed with, the local department or public agency designated by the community policy and management team, creates a debt due and owing to the local department or public agency by the persons responsible for support of such child in an amount equal to the amount paid by the local department or designated public agency and shall be assessable by the local department or designated public agency. However, where there has been a court order for support, final decree of divorce ordering support, or administrative order for support, the debt shall be limited to the amount of such order or decree. The Commissioner, pursuant to § 63.2-1922, or the court, pursuant to § 16.1-290, shall establish the debt in an amount determined to be consistent with the noncustodial parent's ability to pay. The Department, local department, or designated public agency shall have the right to petition the appropriate court for modification of a court order on the same grounds as either party to such cause.

The Department shall be subrogated to the right of such child to prosecute or maintain any support action or execute any administrative remedy existing under the laws of the Commonwealth to obtain reimbursement of moneys thus expended, and may collect on behalf of any such child any amount contained in any court order of support or any administrative order of support regardless of whether or not the amount of such orders exceeds the total amount paid by the local department or designated public agency. Any support paid in excess of the total amount shall be maintained in an account at the local department or designated public agency on behalf of the child. Any funds remaining in the account at the time that the child leaves foster care shall be paid either to the new legal guardian or to the child if he has been emancipated. If a court order for support or final decree of divorce ordering support enters judgment for an amount of support to be paid by such noncustodial parent, the Department shall be subrogated to the debt created by such order, and the money judgment shall be deemed to be in favor of the Department. In any judicial proceeding brought by an attorney on behalf of the Department pursuant to this section to enforce a support obligation in which the Department prevails, attorney's fees shall be assessed pursuant to § 63.2-1960.

The Department shall have the authority to pursue establishment and enforcement actions against the persons responsible for support after the local department or designated public agency no longer has custody of the child or responsibility for foster care placement.

Debts created by an administrative support order under this section shall not be incurred by nor at any time collected from a noncustodial parent who is the recipient of public assistance for the benefit of minor dependent children for the period such person is in such status. Recipients of federal supplemental security income shall not be subject to the establishment of an administrative support order while they receive benefits from that source.

1995, c. 817, § 63.1-251.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1911. (Effective until July 1, 2021) Duty of local departments to enforce support; referral to Department.

Whenever a local department approves an application for public assistance on behalf of a child or children and it appears to the satisfaction of the local department that the child has been abandoned by the noncustodial parent or that the person who has a responsibility for the care, support, or maintenance of such child has failed or neglected to give proper care or support to such child, the local department shall refer the matter to the Division within the Department responsible for the enforcement of support.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.2; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-1911. (Effective July 1, 2021) Duty of local departments to enforce support; referral to Department.

Whenever a local department approves an application for public assistance on behalf of a child or children and it appears to the satisfaction of the local department that the child has been abandoned by the noncustodial parent or that the person who has a responsibility for the care, support, or maintenance of such child has failed or neglected to give proper care or support to such child, the local department shall refer the matter to the Division within the Department responsible for the enforcement of support. The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to applications for the Child Care Subsidy Program.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-274.2; 2002, c. 747; 2020, cc. 860, 861.

§ 63.2-1912. Minor noncustodial parents whose child receives TANF; child support obligations.

If a minor noncustodial parent whose child receives TANF is not in compliance with compulsory school attendance laws in Article 1 (§ 22.1-254 et seq.) of Chapter 14 of Title 22.1, he shall be required to pay child support as if he were an adult, and child support shall be collected.

1995, c. 450, § 63.1-105.5; 2002, c. 747.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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