2016 Mississippi Code
Title 43 - Public Welfare
Chapter 19 - Support of Natural Children
Child Support Unit (§§ 43-19-31 - 43-19-61)
§ 43-19-35. Acceptance of public assistance for child as assignment to department of recipient's rights against nonsupporting parent; status of attorney initiating proceedings
(1) By currently or previously accepting public assistance or making application for child support services for and on behalf of a child or children, the recipient shall be deemed to have made an assignment to the State Department of Human Services of any and all rights and interests in any cause of action, past, present or future, that said recipient or the children may have against any parent failing to provide for the support and maintenance of said minor child or children; said department shall be subrogated to any and all rights, title and interest the recipient or the children may have against any and all property belonging to the absent or nonsupporting parent in the enforcement of any claim for child or spousal support, whether liquidated through court order or not. The recipient of Title IV-D services shall also be deemed, without the necessity of signing any document, to have appointed the State Department of Human Services to act in his or her, as well as the children's, name, place, and stead to perform the specific act of instituting suit to establish paternity or secure support, collecting any and all amounts due and owing for child or spousal support or any other service as required or permitted under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, and endorsing any and all drafts, checks, money orders or other negotiable instruments representing child or spousal support payments which are received on behalf of the recipient or the children, and retaining any portion thereof permitted under federal and state statutes as reimbursement for public assistance monies previously paid to the recipient or children.
(2) Court orders of support for any child or children receiving services through Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act shall be amended, by operation of law, and without the necessity of a motion by the Child Support Unit and a hearing thereon to provide that the payment of support shall be directed by the absent parent to the Mississippi Department of Human Services Central Receipting and Disbursement Unit as provided in Section 43-19-37 and not to the recipient. The absent parent shall be notified of such amendment prior to it taking effect.
(3) Any attorney authorized by the state to initiate any action pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, including, but not limited to, any action initiated pursuant to Sections 43-19-31 et seq. and 93-25-1 et seq. shall be deemed to represent the interest of the State Department of Human Services exclusively; no attorney-client relationship shall exist between said attorney and any recipient of services pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act for and on behalf of a child or children, regardless of the name in which the legal proceedings are initiated. Said attorney representing the state in a Title IV-D case is only authorized to appear and prosecute and/or defend issues of support and cannot in a Title IV-D case address or provide representation to the Title IV-D recipient on any other ancillary issues raised or presented in that action.
(4) Said assignment to the State Department of Human Services shall be free of any legal or equitable defense to the payment of child support that may accrue to any person legally liable for the support of any child or children receiving aid from the State Department of Human Services, as a result of the conduct of the person who is accepting public assistance for and on behalf of said child or children.
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