A. If a recipient of public assistance has a person who is legally responsible for that person’s support and who is presently able to reimburse the department for public assistance provided, the department, through the attorney general or county attorney, shall proceed in the following order against:
1. The spouse of a recipient.
2. The former spouse of a recipient.
3. A father or mother not presently receiving public assistance.
4. Any other legally responsible person.
B. If a recipient of public assistance receives an overpayment of support or is determined ineligible, the department may recover the support incorrectly paid during that time period. The department shall deposit monies recovered in the child safety collections fund established pursuant to this section.
C. On request of the department, the attorney general or county attorney shall commence an action in the superior court in the county where the recipient of public assistance resides or in the superior court in Maricopa county, against the persons in the order specified in subsection A of this section, to recover the assistance granted and to secure an order requiring payment of amounts that become due in the future for which the person is liable.
D. The child safety collections fund is established consisting of monies received pursuant to this section and section 41-2752. The department shall administer the fund. Subject to legislative appropriation, the department shall use fund monies to improve public assistance collection activities. The department shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, twenty-five per cent of the monies collected pursuant to this section in the child safety collections fund and seventy-five per cent of the monies collected pursuant to this section in the state general fund. Notwithstanding this subsection, the department shall deposit, pursuant to sections 35-146 and 35-147, fifty per cent of the monies collected pursuant to section 41-2752 in the child safety collections fund and the remaining fifty per cent of the monies collected pursuant to section 41-2752 shall be deposited in the state general fund.
E. For the purposes of this section, “public assistance” means monies paid by the department to or for the benefit of a dependent child and foster care maintenance paid pursuant to 42 United States Code sections 670 through 676.