2017 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 46 - Welfare
§ 46-444 Transfer of support rights; disbursement of support payments
46-444. Transfer of support rights; disbursement of support payments
A. In a title IV-D case in which an order of child support has been established and the obligee under the order surrenders physical custody of the child to a caretaker for thirty consecutive days, without obtaining a modification of legal custody, the obligee's right to child support for that child transfers to the caretaker by operation of law and is subject to assignment by the caretaker pursuant to section 46-407. The transfer of the right to child support terminates when the caretaker no longer has physical custody of the child, except for the amount of unpaid child support still owing to the caretaker or to the department.
B. The department may disburse child support payments to the appropriate person, organization or agency authorized to receive or collect child support or to a caretaker who has had physical custody of the child for thirty consecutive days or physical custody with the obligee's consent for thirty consecutive days.
C. The department may retain child support payments assigned by the caretaker on verification that the caretaker is receiving cash assistance for a child subject to a support order and the child support payment is subject to an assignment pursuant to section 46-407.
D. In a title IV-D case in which there has never been an assignment of child support, on determination that physical custody has changed, the department may disburse all child support collected after physical custody has changed to the caretaker.
E. Before it disburses child support payments to any person other than the obligee, the department shall:
1. Obtain a written statement from the child's caretaker, and if possible from the obligee, under penalty of perjury, stating that the caretaker has had physical custody of the child for thirty consecutive days or custody with the obligee's consent for a period of thirty consecutive days.
2. Mail a copy of the caretaker's statement and, if applicable, verification that the caretaker is receiving cash assistance for the child or children along with a notice of the change in disbursement to the obligor and obligee at the obligor's and obligee's last known addresses.
3. File a copy of the notice of change in disbursement with the clerk of the court that entered the original support order.
F. The obligee, obligor or other caretaker may object to the disbursement to the caretaker by requesting an administrative review pursuant to section 25-522 within ten days after the date of the notice. The administrative review is limited to deciding if the caretaker has lawful physical custody of the child or physical custody with the obligee's consent.
G. If an obligor notifies the department of the obligor's intent to obtain custody for the child or children, child support payments continue to go to the caretaker until the obligor obtains a current order granting custody.
H. If the obligee claims that the child remains in the obligee's custody, and the caretaker has not received cash assistance, on a determination that the physical custody is with a caretaker, the department may distribute child support collected to the caretaker.