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.