53-2-613. Application for assistance -- assignment of support rights. (1) Applications for public assistance, including but not limited to financial assistance or nonfinancial assistance, as defined in 53-2-902, and medical assistance, may be made in any local office of public assistance. The application must be submitted, in the manner and form prescribed by the department, and must contain information required by the department.
(2) A person who signs an application for financial assistance, as defined in 53-2-902, or for related medical assistance assigns to the state, to the department, and to the county, if county funds were used to pay for services, all rights that the applicant may have to monetary and medical support from any other person in the applicant's own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom application is made. A person who signs an application for public assistance other than financial assistance, as defined in 53-2-902, or for related medical assistance may, in accordance with rules adopted by the department, be required to assign to the state, to the department, and to the county all rights that the applicant may have to monetary and medical support from any other person in the applicant's own behalf or on behalf of any other family member for whom application is made.
(3) The assignment:
(a) is effective for current support and medical obligations;
(b) takes effect upon a determination that the applicant is eligible for public assistance; and
(c) remains in effect with respect to the amount of any unpaid support and medical obligation accrued under the assignment that was owed prior to the termination of public assistance to a recipient.
(4) If a person who is the legal custodian and child support obligee under a support order relinquishes physical custody of a child to a caretaker relative without obtaining a modification of legal custody and the caretaker relative is determined eligible for public assistance on behalf of the child, the child support obligation is transferred by operation of law to the caretaker relative and may be assigned as provided in subsection (2). The transfer and assignment terminate when the caretaker relative no longer has physical custody of the child, except for any unpaid support still owing under the assignment at that time.
(5) Whenever a child support or spousal support obligation is assigned to the department pursuant to this section, the following provisions apply:
(a) If the support obligation is based upon a judgment or decree or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the department may retain assigned support amounts in an amount sufficient to reimburse the cumulative total of public assistance money expended.
(b) A recipient or former recipient of public assistance may not commence or maintain an action to recover or enforce a delinquent support obligation or make any agreements with any other person or agency concerning the support obligation, except as provided in 40-5-202.
(c) If a notice of assigned interest is filed with the district court, the clerk of the court may not pay or release for the benefit of any recipient or former recipient of public assistance any amounts received pursuant to a judgment or decree or an order of the court until the department's child support enforcement division has filed a written notice that:
(i) the assignment of current support amounts has been terminated; and
(ii) all assigned support delinquencies, if any, are satisfied or released.
(d) A recipient or former recipient of public assistance may not take action to modify or make any agreement to modify, settle, or release any past, present, or future support obligation unless the department's child support enforcement division is given written notice under the provisions of 40-5-202. Any modifications or agreements entered into without the participation of the department are void with respect to the state, the department, and the local office of public assistance.
(e) A support obligation assigned under this section may not be terminated, invalidated, waived, set aside, or considered uncollectible by the conduct, misconduct, or failure of a recipient or former recipient of public assistance to take any action or to cease any action required under a decree, judgment, support order, custody order, visitation order, restraining order, or other similar order.
History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 79, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 131, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 155, Ch. 370, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 25, Ch. 702, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 631, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 60, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 421, Ch. 546, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 486, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 94, Ch. 552, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 29, L. 1999; amd. Secs. 12, 42, Ch. 465, L. 2001; amd. Secs. 45, 46, Ch. 571, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 184, L. 2009.