Acknowledgment of Paternity - Provides parents of a child born out-of-wedlock a means to legally establish paternity without a court hearing. Both parents must complete and sign the voluntary form in the presence of witnesses, and then it is filed at the registrar for the hospital where the child was born.
Administrative Enforcement - Method by which support orders are enforced by the child support enforcement agency instead of by court hearing.
Allowable Deductions - Money that the non-custodial parent has paid for certain taxes, support, or business expenses that may be deducted from his or her total income, when calculating the basic child support obligation amount.
Annual Gross (Total) Income - Income as reported in the most recent federal income tax return. If not already included, investment income, voluntarily deferred income, and income received from any benefits received, fellowships and stipends, and annuity payments should be included.
Arrears - Unpaid child support for past periods owed by a parent who is obligated, under court order, to pay.
Basic Child Support Obligation - The amount resulting from multiplying the non-custodial parent's income by the appropriate child support percentage, plus the non-custodial parent's share of educational and child care expenses where appropriate.
Cash Deposits - A court-ordered amount of money deposited with the Support Collection Unit, which can be used to pay current child support if the non-custodial parent misses payments.
Child Support - The legal obligation of a non-custodial parent to contribute to the financial support of his/her child by making regularly scheduled payments.
Child Support Enforcement (CSE) - The agency or process by which payment of a child support or medical support obligation is obtained through administrative or judicial means.
Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Unit - The unit within the local district department of social services designated to provide child support enforcement program services to establish paternity and to establish, adjust, modify and enforce child support orders.
Child Support Petition - A formal written application to a court requesting judicial action on a matter of child support.
Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) - The law which governs the determination of child support obligations: provides for the application of percentages to a parent's income, i.e., 17% of gross income for one child, 25% of gross income for two children, 29% of gross income for three children, 31% of gross income for four children, and no less than 35% of gross income for five or more children.
Consumer Price Index - Urban (CPI-U) - Measures changes in the cost of goods and services that affect daily living expenses.
Consumer Reporting - An enforcement process in which overdue child support is reported to the Consumer Credit Bureau as debt owed that can affect the NCP's credit report.
Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) - A process in which the Support Collection Unit (SCU) objectively evaluates a child support order to determine if the obligation amount should be adjusted based on Cost of Living Adjustment criteria.
Court Enforcement - When administrative enforcement methods are not effective in collecting past child support, the court has the authority to use various means of enforcing child support laws - for example, by requiring cash deposits or suspending professional licenses.
Custodial Parent (CP) - Person with legal and primary custody as granted by valid agreement between the parties or by court order 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.