Child Support Services
- Arrearage -
Past due, unpaid child support owed by the noncustodial parent.
- Support -
Financial support paid by a parent to help support a child or children of whom they do not have custody. Child support can be entered into voluntarily or ordered by a court or a properly empowered administrative agency, depending on each state's laws.
- Contempt of Court -
Not doing what the court has ordered you to do.
- Custodial Parent -
Person or agency who has primary care, custody, and control of a minor child(ren).
- Default -
The failure of a defendant to file an answer or appear in a civil case within the prescribed time after having been properly served with a summons and complaint.
- Defendant -
The person against whom a civil or criminal proceeding is begun.
- Disbursement -
The paying out of collected child support funds.
- Good Cause -
Valid reason(s) for not proceeding with: establishment of parentage or support; or enforcement or collection of child support.
- Guidelines - A standard method for setting child support obligations based on the income of the parent(s) and other factors determined by state law.
- IV-A Case -
A child support case in which a custodial parent and child(ren) are receiving public assistance benefits under the state's IV-A program, which is funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act. (See also: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; Public Assistance)
- IV-D Case -
A child support case where at least one of the parties, either the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent, has requested or received IV-D services from the state's IV-D agency.
- Jurisdiction -
The legal authority a court or administrative agency has over particular persons and over certain types of cases, usually in a defined geographical area.
- Monthly Support Obligation (MSO) - The amount of money an obligor is required to pay per month.
- Noncustodial Parent -
The parent who does not have primary care, custody, or control of the child, and has an obligation to pay child support.
- Non IV-D Orders
- A child support order handled by a private attorney as opposed to the state/local child support enforcement (IV-D) agency.
- Obligee -
The person, state agency, or other institution to which child support is owed.
- Obligor -
The person who is obligated to pay child support.
- Paternity -
Legal determination of fatherhood. Paternity must be established before child or medical support can be ordered.
- Plaintiff -
A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil case.
- Public Assistance -
Benefits granted from state or federal programs to aid eligible recipients. Applicants for certain types assistance (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or TANF) are automatically referred to their state IV-D agency.
- Putative Father -
The person alleged to be the father of the child, but who has not yet been medically or legally declared to be the Legal Father.
- Show Cause -
A court order directing a person to appear and bring forth any evidence as to why the remedies stated in the order should not be confirmed or executed. A show cause order is usually based on a motion and affidavit asking for relief.
- Support Order -
A judgment, decree, or order, whether temporary, final, or subject to modification, issued by a court or an administrative agency of a competent jurisdiction, for the support and care of a child.
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) -
Provides temporary monthly cash to assist families in need.
- Unreimbursed Public Assistance -
Money paid in the form of public assistance (TANF) that has not yet been recovered from the noncustodial parent.