administrative procedure – method by which support orders are made and enforced by an executive agency rather than by courts and judges

Aid to Families with Dependent Children – assistance payments made on behalf of children who don’t have the financial support of one of their parents by reason of death, disability, or continued absence from the home; known in many States as ADC (Aid to Dependent Children)

arrearages – unpaid child support for past periods owed by a parent who is obligated to pay

assignment of support rights – a person receiving public assistance agrees to turn over to the State any right to child support, including arrearages, paid by the obligated parent in exchange for receipt of a cash assistance grant and other benefits

complaint – written document filed in a court whereby the complainant sets forth the names of the parties, the allegations, and the request for relief sought

consent agreement – voluntary written admission of paternity or responsibility for support

custodial parent – person with legal custody and with whom the child lives; may be parent, other relative, or someone else

custody order – legal determination which establishes with whom a child shall live

default – failure of a defendant to appear, or file an answer or response in a civil case, after having been served with a summons and complaint

default judgment – decision made by the court when the defendant fails to respond

defendant – person against whom a civil or criminal proceeding is begun

electronic funds transfer – transfer of money from one bank account to another or to a CSE Agency

enforcement – obtaining payment of a child support or medical support obligation

Federal Income Tax Offset Program – a program under the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement which makes available to State CSE Agencies a route for securing the tax refund of parents who have been certified as owing substantial amounts of child support

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) – a service operated by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to help the States locate parents in order to obtain child support payments; also used in cases of parental kidnapping related to custody and visitation determinations; FPLS obtains address and employer information from Federal agencies

Federally-assisted Foster Care – a program, funded in part by the Federal government, under which a child is raised in a household by someone other than his or her own parent

finding– a formal determination by a court, or administrative process that has legal standing

Full Faith and Credit – doctrine under which a State must honor an order or judgement entered in another State

garnishment – a legal proceeding under which part of a person’s wages and/or assets is withheld for payment of a debt

genetic testing – analysis of inherited factors (usually by blood or tissue test) of mother, child, and alleged father which can help to prove or disprove that a particular man fathered a particular child

guidelines – a standard method for setting child support obligations based on the income of the parent(s) and other factors as determined by State law

immediate wage withholding – automatic deductions from income which start as soon as the agreement for support is established (see wage withholding)

jurisdiction – legal authority which a court has over particular persons, certain types of cases, and in a defined geographical area

legal father – a man who is recognized by law as the male parent

lien – a claim upon property to prevent sale or transfer until a debt is satisfied

long arm statute – a law which permits one State to claim personal jurisdiction over someone who lives in another State

Medicaid program – federally funded medical support for low income families

medical support – legal provision for payment of medical and dental bills

noncustodial parent – parent who does not have primary custody of a child

obligation – amount of money to be paid as support by the responsible parent and the manner by which it is to be paid

offset – amount of money taken from a parent’s State or Federal income tax refund to satisfy a child support debt

order – direction of a magistrate, judge or properly empowered administrative officer

paternity judgement – legal determination of fatherhood

plaintiff – person who brings an action, complains or sues in a civil case

presumption of paternity – a rule of law under which evidence of a man’s paternity (e.g. voluntary acknowledgment, genetic test results) creates a presumption that the man is the father of a child. A rebuttable presumption can be overcome by evidence that the man is not the father, but it shifts the burden of proof to the father to disprove paternity.

probability of paternity – the probability that the alleged father is the biological father of the child as indicated by genetic test results.

public assistance – money granted from the State/ Federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children program to a person or family for living expenses; eligibility based on need

State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) – a service operated by the State Child Support Enforcement Agencies to locate noncustodial parents to establish paternity, and establish and enforce child support obligations

statute of limitations – the period during which someone can be held liable for an action or a debt-statutes of limitations for collecting child support vary from State to State

stay – an order by a court which suspends all or some of the proceedings in a case

TANF -Temporary Assistance to Needy Families – time-limited assistance payments to poor families. The program provides parents with job preparation, work and support services to help them become self-sufficient

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), and Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) – laws enacted at the State level which provide mechanisms for establishing and enforcing support obligations when the noncustodial parent lives in one State and the custodial parent and the children live in another

visitation – the right of a non-custodial parent to visit or spend time with his or her children

voluntary acknowledgement of paternity – an acknowledgement by a man, or both parents, that the man is the father of a child, usually provided in writing on an affidavit or form

wage withholding – procedure by which automatic deductions are made from wage or income to pay some debt such as child support; may be voluntary or involuntary

See also…

Law Wiki: Child support enforcement offices

Law Wiki: Child support help

Child Custody and Support