Misappropriating Children’s Social Security Benefits in Arizona
The Arizona Court of Appeals in the published decision in Peace v. Peace decided an Arizona court’s authority when a parent misappropriates or wrongfully takes social security benefits paid for the benefit of children.
In the Peace case, Mother had primary custody of the children. Despite that fact, Father diverted the social security payments payable for the support of the children to himself as opposed to the mother, who was the custodial parent of the children.
Contempt of Court for Taking Children’s Social Security Benefits
Mother filed a Petition for Contempt against father. Mother alleged Father has directed the Social Security Administration to send him the children’s monthly social security payments of $362.00 per month. Mother alleged she should have received those payments as the custodial parent of the children.
The trial court gave Mother a judgment against Father for all of the social security payments Father wrongfully diverted to himself. The trial court also found Father to be in contempt of court.
Preemption of Federal Law on Children’s Social Security Benefits
The Court of Appeals reviewed federal law. Federal law allows a parent receiving his or her children’s social security payments to use those funds in any manner benefitting the children.
Father argued that federal law gave him discretion on how he spent the social security benefits.
The Arizona Court of Appeals had to decide whether federal law or state law controlled in this situation. The question became whether a state court judge had the authority to direct what Father should do with the children’s social security benefits.
The court concluded there was extensive federal law governing children’s social security benefits. The Court of Appeals concluded federal law, not state law, controlled.
There was comprehensive federal law on the subject. The extent of federal law demonstrated Congress intended to control the disposition of social security benefits. State law, therefore, is preempted by federal law.
The Arizona Court of Appeals concluded the state court judge did not have authority to hold Father in contempt. Also, the state court did not have authority to give Mother a judgment against Father for the children’s social security payments he wrongfully diverted from her.
Other Articles About Child Support in Arizona
- Arizona Child Support Laws
- Arizona Child Support Calculator
- Arizona Uniform Interstate Family Support Act Statutes
- Arizona Child Support
- Back Child Support in Arizona
- Calculating Income for Child Support in Arizona
- Child Support and an Unemployed Parent in Arizona
- Child Support Enforcement in Arizona
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- How is Child Support Calculated in Arizona
- How is Income Calculated for Child Support in Arizona
- How to Enforce a Child Support Order in Arizona
- How To Enforce Child Support in Arizona
- How to Make Child Support Payments in Arizona
- How to Modify Child Support Order in Arizona
- Modification of Child Support in Arizona
- Modify or Enforce Other State Support Order in Arizona
- Prescott Arizona Modification of Child Support
- Registering Support Order From Another State In Arizona
- The Standard Procedure to Modify Child Support in Arizona
- What is a Wage Assignment in Arizona
- What Is Considered Gross Income for Arizona Child Support in Arizona
- What is Included in an Arizona Child Support Order
- When Does Child Support End in Arizona
- Modification of Child Support When Neither Parent Lives in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about children’s social security benefits in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about child support laws in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and child custody attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys,” Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms,” and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. The procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce are based upon principles of honesty and integrity. Chris and his staff care about what their clients are going through in a divorce.