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You are here: Home > Child Support Services > Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Administrative Hearing
Hearing conducted by The Office of Child Support Services’ Administrative Hearing Unit to establish paternity, establish a support order and change existing orders.

Administrative Process
Actions taken by The Office of Child Support Services to establish and/or enforce child support.  The administrative process is an alternative to court actions.

Administrative Subpoenas
Issued by a state or county agency, by statute, commanding an individual to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony regarding a certain matter; or, to provide information.

Advance Notice of Default
Notice to an obligor that he/she is in default (behind in his/her support obligation), and subject to one or more enforcement remedies to satisfy the support obligation.

Age of Majority
Attained upon one's eighteenth birthday. However, a child support order will remain in effect beyond attainment of eighteen as long as the child continuously attends an accredited high school on a full-time basis. No current obligation will remain in effect after the child attains the age of nineteen, unless a court orders otherwise.

Alleged Father
A person who has been named as the father of a child born out of wedlock, but for whom paternity has not been established.

Arrearage/Arrears
Back support that is owed to the custodial parent or Obligee. This money was never paid to the custodial parent by the parent who was ordered to pay child support.

Assessment Fee
Administrative fee the Child Support Agency is permitted, by law, to collect from a non-custodial parent's child support payments (currently 2%).  This amount is in addition to the child support amount. It is also known as processing fee or poundage.

Assignment of support rights
Participation in Ohio Works First (OWF) constitutes an assignment to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) of any rights that members of an assistance group have to support from another person.  The Office of Child Support Services is responsible for the collection and distribution of support payments owed, whether assigned or unassigned.

Automated Interface
Exchange of information electronically between IV-A (public assistance), the Medicaid program, and IV-D (child support) agencies.    

Bench Warrant
Warrant for arrest issued by a court.

Buccal Swab
A recognized form of genetic testing used to determine paternity, which involves a cotton swab type instrument for collecting saliva from individuals submitting to testing.    

Capias
Warrant for arrest issued by a court.

Caretaker
The person responsible for a dependent child's health or welfare who has temporary or legal custody of the child.

Case Transfer
To move a case in its entirety to another Child Support Agency.

Case Closure
Federally mandated reasons for an agency to close a case. Classification of a case as closed does not terminate the court order or the legal obligation to pay any outstanding arrears.

Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)
Federal law that limits the amount that may be withheld from earnings to satisfy child support obligations. Regardless of the number of withholding orders that have been served, the maximum that may be withheld for child support is:
  • Without arrearage:
    50% with a second family
    60% single
  • With arrearage:
    55% with second family and 12 weeks in arrears     
    65% single and 12 weeks in arrears   
Central Paternity Registry (CPR)
A clearinghouse of birthing information obtained as a result of the establishment of a parent/child relationship on out-of-wedlock births in Ohio.

Child Support
An amount of money under a court or administrative order that is due and owed by the non-custodial parent for the support of the parent's child(ren).

Child Support Payment Central (CSPC)
The unit within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office of Child Support, where all child support payments are processed.

Confidentiality
All information received about a child support case is to be kept within the scope of the agency and disseminated only to authorized persons.

Contempt of Court
Any act in willful defiance of the court's authority or dignity, or, tending to impede or frustrate the administration of justice. Contempt is punishable by fines and/or jail sentences.

Cooperation
The custodial parent must provide, as a condition of receiving public assistance benefits, sufficient information to identify a child's father and/or establish, modify and enforce a support order, inclusive of submitting to genetic testing and appearing at paternity and child support proceedings.

Credit Reporting Agency (CRA)
Any agency, which tracks financial obligations of individuals or a company and used by banks, merchants, suppliers, etc. for the purpose of evaluating credit risk.

Criminal Non Support
Non-custodial parents who willfully refuse to pay court-ordered child support can be charged with the crime of Criminal Non Support and be and prosecuted. They must meet established criteria and the decision to prosecute is made by the County or Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

CSEA
Any Child Support Enforcement Agency

Custodial Parent
The child's legal caretaker who has custody of the children and may be entitled to receive child support payments on behalf of the children. Also referred to as residential parent or obligee.

Custody
Legal determination by a court that establishes with whom the child shall live.  

Default
Any failure to pay under a support order that is an amount equal to or greater than the monthly support obligation. 

Direct Payments
Payments made to the obligee , directly  (not through child support).  Once an order has been established, all payments should be made to OCSPC (see below), unless the order specifically states otherwise. Any payments not made through the OCSPC, will be considered gifts.

Emancipation
The act of a minor child legally attaining independence. This can be obtained by age, marriage, entrance into the armed services, or decree of the court.

Enforcement
Methods to ensure payment of the obligation by the obligor.

Federal Case Registry (FCR)
A computerized Federal System in which all child support cases in all states are entered and tracked. This registry includes the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) and the National Directory of New Hires.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Unique nine digit number assigned to all employers by the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), which must be used in numerous transactions, including submitting data and responding to requests relevant to child support.

Fraudulent Transfer
Actions by an obligor to deliberately transfer assets or to enter into an obligation to avoid child support.

Full Faith and Credit (See UIFSA Glossary)
Recognizing other states' child support related actions as legal and enforceable determinations in Ohio. 

Genetic Testing
A procedure to establish a likelihood that the putative or alleged father is or is not the biological father of a child.

Good Cause
Findings by the IV-D agency that a recipient is excused from an obligation to facilitate establishment of child support and enforcement efforts.

Guidelines  
A formula which takes into account parents' incomes and deductions for the establishment of a monthly child support obligation. 

Hearing Officer
Conducts hearings and issues recommendations and administrative orders (See Administrative Hearing) 

Imputing Income
The act of awarding potential income to individuals not employed or voluntarily underemployed; the child support agency or court may project utilizing the child support guidelines, an income base for purposes of establishing a support obligation.

Income Withholding
Withholding from an obligor's income for the purposes of paying a support obligation. "Income" means: any form of monetary payment, including personal earnings; workers' compensation payments; unemployment compensation benefits; pensions; annuities; allowances; private or governmental retirement benefits; disability or sick pay; insurance proceeds; lottery prize awards; federal, state or local government benefits to the extent that the benefits can be withheld or deducted under the law governing the benefits; any form of trust fund or endowment; lump-sum payments; and any other payment in money.

Interactive Voice Response Unit (IVR)
Telephone system that makes frequently requested child support information available to customers over touch-tone telephones.

IV-A ("four-a")
A title of the Social Security Act relating to individuals that participate in public assistance programs administered by the county departments of job and family services.

IV-D ("four-d")
A title of the Social Security Act relating to individuals that participate in child support or spousal support services that are available by application or through participation in other benefit programs which establish and enforce a child support obligation.

IV-D
Application A written, signed document required to be completed for individuals desiring child support services that are or have not, in the past, received public assistance benefits. Click here to view Ohio's IV-D application.

IV-E (Foster Care) ("four-e")
A title of the Social Security Act which relates to services for legal temporary custody of children through a Public Children's Services Agency on finding of probable or of actual finding of dependency, abuse, neglect and sometimes delinquency. 

Journal Entry/Judgment Entry
A Journal Entry/Judgment Entry is a written document that is signed by a Judge and contains a Judge’s order.

Judgment
The official decision of a court of justice upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action or suit.

Jurisdiction
The Child Support Agency with responsibility over all case actions of a child support case as a result of a court or administrative action originating in that county. 

Legal Father
Man recognized, by law, as the child's male parent.

Lien
Legal claim upon property to prevent sale or transfer until a debt is satisfied.

Location of Parent
The act of determining the whereabouts of a parent and/or his or her assets.

Long Arm (See UIFSA Glossary)
A tribunal in Ohio exercising personal jurisdiction over a nonresident.

Lump Sum
Usually a bonus check, court settlement, or any money received by the Obligor over $150.00, but is not a regular paycheck.

Lump Sum Intercept
An amount of money to be paid to an employee, but interrupted by a CSEA to be applied to support and/or support arrears.

Lump Sum Judgment
A court may reduce a child support or spousal support arrearage to a lump-sum judgment. Once a lump-sum judgment has been obtained it may be enforced either by obtaining a lien or by using the income withholding enforcement tools. 

Medicaid-Only Case
A low income or aged applicant/recipient receiving federal or state sponsored medical and hospital insurance benefits only (no cash assistance).

Medical Support
The Child Support Agency shall secure and enforce the requirement for medical insurance for all IV-D cases when coverage is available and reasonable or expected to become available.

Mistake of Fact Hearing
A hearing to determine if there was an error in a process (e.g., the amount of current or overdue support, medical order, or in the identity of the alleged absent parent, etc.)

Modification
See review and adjustment.

Modification Hearing
Hearing conducted at the Office of Child Support Services to determine if there was an error in calculation of support during the review and adjustment process.

Multistate Financial Institution Data Match (MSFIDM)
Process created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) of 1996 by which delinquent child support obligations are matched with accounts held in financial institutions doing business with more than one state. States undertake actions to place a lien on and seize all or part of the account. 

National Medical Support Order (NMSN)
Federally required form that all state IV-D child support agencies use to enforce medical support orders for children. It is required for all employment based insurance coverage and is generated and sent to employers in response to the New Hire Reporting process or through alternate means. It constitutes a Qualified Medical Child Support Order and meets other requirements.

Non-Custodial Parent
The parent who does not have legal custody of the child and who is responsible for payment of child support. Also referred to as non-residential parent or obligor or as the absent parent.

Non-IV-D Case
A case where the absent parent pays an administrative or court ordered support amount to the Child Support Agency which, in turn, issues a check to the custodial parent, who has chosen not to complete a IV-D application and is not receiving OWF benefits. The Child Support Agency acts as a fiscal agent for disbursing those payments. 

Obligee
Any person, including a state or political subdivision, to whom a duty of support is owed or a person, including a state or political subdivision, that has commenced proceedings for enforcement of actual or alleged duty of support or registration of foreign support order. The person who receives the support. Also may be referred to as custodial or residential parent.

Obligor
Any person owing a duty of support or against whom proceedings for enforcement of a duty of support or a registration of support orders is commenced. The person ordered to pay support. Also may be referred to as non-custodial or non-residential parent.

OCS
Office of Child Support, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The Office of Child Support is the single state agency that has the responsibility for administration and supervision of the State Plan of the IV-D program in Ohio.

OCSE
Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, the federal office with the responsibility for the administration of the IV-D program.

OCSPC
Ohio Child Support Payment Central is the state’s centralized collection facility for all child support agencies in Ohio.  All child support payments are collected and distributed through this location.

ODJFS
Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

Ohio Administrative Code (OAC)
Procedural and regulatory rules which facilitate the implementation of Ohio law by governmental agencies.

Ohio Revised Code (ORC)
Statutory and regulatory law of Ohio as opposed to court-mandated common law. ORC also codifies common law.

Ohio Works First (OWF)
A benefit program of Ohio to divert IV-A clients into jobs which will promote skills as well as bring monetary benefits to the client.

Parent Locator Service
A computerized location network operated by the Federal Office of Child Support (FPLS).

Paternity
The process by which the father of a child is definitively and legally identified. 

Paternity Affidavit
A document used by both parents to establish paternity at their local hospital, local registrar or the Child Support Agency. This is filed with the Central Paternity Registry.

Paternity Establishment
A legal determination of a child's biological father.

Payor
Any individual or entity making payments or distributing income to a person.

Postal Verification
Verification by the U.S. Post Office of an address.

Public Assistance
Programs that provide assistance to families such as, OWF; Ohio Works First.

Putative Father
A person who has been named as the father of a child born out of wedlock but for who paternity has not been established. 

Residential/Non-Residential Parent
See custodial/non-custodial parent.

Review and Adjustment
The act of re-examining a support order for possible changes to the support amount and medical coverage.  Also known as a modification. 

Service of Process
Is the procedure used to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person, as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal.  Usually, notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served.

SETS
Support Enforcement Tracking System (SETS) is the name of the statewide computer system used by all child support agencies in the State of Ohio.

SETS Case Number
All cases are identified in the SETS with case numbers. This 10-digit number was assigned to  support cases during the conversion to SETS and all new cases. This number always begins with a seven (7).   

Spousal Support
An order established for the support of a former spouse that is issued by a court.

State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
The single site in each state where all child support payments are processed. In Ohio, the SDU is the Child Support Payment Central (CSPC).

State Hearing
When an action is taken by an agency and the applicant/recipient disagrees with that action, he/she may request a state hearing. The state hearing officer decides whether the action is appropriate and what the outcome will be.

Support Officer
Person responsible for monitoring and managing  a child support or spousal support case.

Support Order
An order (either court or administrative) for a parent to pay a specific amount of money in support of minor children. 

TANF
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (called OWF in Ohio).

Tax Offset
May be done by either by the Internal Revenue Service or the Ohio Department of Taxation or both. The interception of tax refunds of non-custodial parents to offset support arrears.

Termination of Order
The point where the child support obligation has been fulfilled and an action has been ordered either administratively or by the court to end current support payments by the obligor. 

UIFSA
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act that replaces URESA and is a Model Act that all states were required to adopt verbatim. It is used to enforce and manage interstate child support cases.

URESA
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, replaced by UIFSA. 

Voluntary Payments
Payments made on a case prior to an order being established/received.

Withholding (Income)
A mandatory deduction taken directly from an obligor's wages to satisfy a support obligation.