Maine Child Support: Division of Support Enforcement & Recovery (DSER)

Glossary of Terms

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HR Bills

Bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives begin with the letters "HR".

IV-A("Four-A")

Reference to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act covering the Federal-State Public Assistance Program.

IV-A Case

A child support case in which a custodial parent and child(ren) is receiving public assistance benefits under the State's IV-A program, which is funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act. Applicants for assistance from IV-A programs are automatically referred to their State IV-D agency in order to identify and locate the non-custodial parent, establish paternity and/or a child support order, and/or obtain child support payments. This allows the State to recoup or defray some of its public assistance expenditures with funds from the non-custodial parent.

(See also: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; Public Assistance)

IV-D ("Four-D")

Reference to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, which required that each State create a program to locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce child support obligations, and collect and distribute support payments. All recipients of public assistance (usually TANF) are referred to their State's IV-D child support program. States must also accept applications from families who do not receive public assistance, if requested, to assist in collection of child support. Title IV-D also established the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

IV-D Case

A child support case where at least one of the parties, either the custodial party (CP) or the non- custodial parent (NCP), has requested or received IV-D services from the State's IV-D agency. A IV-D case is composed of a custodial party, non-custodial parent, or putative father, and dependent(s).

IV-E ("Four-E")

Reference to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, which established a Federal-State program known as Foster Care that provides financial support to a person, family, or institution that is raising a child or children that is not their own. The funding for IV-E Foster Care programs is primarily from Federal sources.

(See also: Foster Care)

IV-E Case

A child support case in which the State is providing benefits or services under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to a person, family, or institution that is raising a child or children that are not their own. As with other public assistance cases, recipients are referred to their State IV-D agency in order to identify and locate the non-custodial parent, establish paternity and/or a child support order, and/or obtain child support payments. This allows the State to recoup or defray some of its public assistance expenditures with funds from the non-custodial parent.

Immediate Wage Withholding

An automatic deduction from income that starts as soon as the agreement for support is established. (See also: Income Withholding; Wage Withholding)

Imputed Income

Fringe benefits provided to employees that may be taxable but which cannot be counted as additional disposable income that is subject to child support obligations.

(See also: Disposable Earnings; Guidelines)

Income

As defined by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), income is any periodic form of payment to an individual, regardless of source, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, worker's compensation, disability, pension, or retirement program payments and interest. All income (except imputed income; see above) is subject to income withholding for child support, pursuant to a child support order, but is protected by Consumer Credit Protection Act limits, both State and federal.

(See also: Consumer Credit Protection Act; Disposable Earnings; Guidelines)

Income Withholding

Procedure by which automatic deductions are made from wages or income, as defined in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), to pay a debt such as child support. Income withholding often is incorporated into the child support order and may be voluntary or involuntary. The provision dictates that an employer must withhold support from a non-custodial parent’s wages and transfer that withholding to the appropriate agency (the Centralized Collection Unit or State Disbursement Unit). Sometimes referred to as wage withholding.

(See also: Wage Withholding; Direct Income Withholding, a type of interstate Income Withholding; Immediate Wage Withholding)

Information Memorandum (IM)

Document that provides State child support enforcement agencies with information on program practices that can be useful to program improvement.

Initiating Jurisdiction

The State or county court, or administrative agency, which sends a request for action to another jurisdiction in interstate child support cases. The requested action can include a request for wage withholding or for review and adjustment of existing child support obligations. In cases where a State is trying to establish an initial child support order on behalf of a resident custodial parent, and they do not have Long Arm Jurisdiction (i.e., they cannot legally claim personal jurisdiction over a person who is not a resident), they must file a Two-State action under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) guidelines.

(See also: Long Arm Jurisdiction; Two-State Action; Uniform Interstate Family Support Act)

Intercept

A method of securing child support by taking a portion of non-wage payments made to a non-custodial parent. Non-wage payments subject to interception include Federal tax refunds, State tax refunds, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits.

(See also: Federal Tax Refund Offset Program)

Interstate Cases

Cases in which the dependent child and non-custodial parent (NCP) live in different States, or where two or more States are involved in some case activity, such as enforcement.

Judgment

The official decision or finding of a judge or administrative agency hearing officer upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action; also known as a decree or order and may include the "findings of fact and conclusions of law."

Judicial Remedies

A general designation for a court's enforcement of child support obligations.

Jurisdiction

The legal authority which a court or administrative agency has over particular persons and over certain types of cases, usually in a defined geographical area.

(See also: Initiating Jurisdiction; Long Arm Jurisdiction)

Legal Father

A man who is recognized by law as the male parent of a child.

Lien

A claim upon property to prevent sale or transfer of that property until a debt is satisfied.

Litigation

A civil action in which a controversy is brought before the court.

Locate

Process by which a non-custodial parent (NCP) or putative father (PF) is found for the purpose of establishing paternity, establishing and/or enforcing a child support obligation, establishing custody and visitation rights, processing adoption or foster care cases, and investigating parental kidnapping.

Locate Information

Data used to locate a Putative Father (PF) or non-custodial parent (NCP). May include their Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth (DOB), residential address, and employer.

Long Arm Jurisdiction

Legal provision that permits one State to claim personal jurisdiction over someone who lives in another State. There must be some meaningful connection between the person and the State or district that is asserting jurisdiction in order for a court or agency to reach beyond its normal jurisdictional border. If a Long Arm Statute is not in effect between two States, then the State must undertake a Two-State Action under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) guidelines for certain actions, such as establishing a support order in which the non-custodial parent (NCP) is not a resident. Other actions, such as Direct Income Withholding, are allowed by UIFSA in such a way that neither a Two-State Action nor Long Arm Jurisdiction are required.

(See also: Two-State Action; Uniform Interstate Family Support Act)

Medical Assistance Only (MAO)

Form of public assistance administered by a State’s IV-A program, which provides benefits to recipients only in the form of medical, rather than financial, assistance.

Medical Support

Form of child support where medical or dental insurance coverage is paid by the non-custodial parent (NCP). Depending on the court order, medical support can be an NCP’s sole financial obligation, or it can be one of several obligations, with child and/or spousal support being the others.

Motion

An application to the court requesting an order or rule in favor of the party that is filing the motion. Motions are generally made in reference to a pending action and may address a matter in the court’s discretion or concern a point of law.

Monthly Support Obligation (MSO)

The amount of money an obligor is required to pay per month.

Multistate Employer

An organization that hires and employs people in two or more States. The multistate employer conducts business within each State and the employees are required to pay taxes in the State where they work. As with single-state employers, multistate employers are required by law to report all new hires to the State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) operated by their State government. However, unlike single-state employers, they have the option to report all of their new hires to the SDNH of only one State in which they do business rather than to all of them.

Multistate Financial Institution Data Match (MSFIDM)

Process created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 by which delinquent child support obligors are matched with accounts held in Financial Institutions (FI) doing business in more than one State. States submit data to the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) on a non-custodial parent (NCP) and their arrearage, and indicate whether the NCP should be submitted for MSFIDM. OCSE ensures the accuracy of the data and transmits the file to participating multistate financial institutions, who match the information against their open accounts and returns matches to the appropriate States, who can then undertake action to place a lien on and seize all or part of the account.

(See also: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996)

National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA)

The association that establishes the standards, rules, and procedures that enable financial institutions to exchange payments on a national basis.

National Directory of New Hires (NDNH)

A national database containing New Hire (NH) and Quarterly Wage (QW) data from every State and Federal agency and Unemployment Insurance (UI) data from State Employment Security Agencies (SESAs). Data contained is first reported to each State’s State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) and then transmitted to the NDNH. OCSE maintains the NDNH as part of the expanded FPLS.

(See also: New Hire Data; Quarterly Wage Date; Unemployment Insurance Claim Data)

National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)

Part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s system of record storage facilities. The NPRC receives and stores both Federal Military and Civilian personnel records.

New Hire (NH) Data

Data on a new employee that employers must submit within 20 days of hire to the State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) in the State in which they do business. Minimum information must include the employee’s name, address, and Social Security Number (SSN), as well as the employer’s name, address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Some States may require or request additional data. Multistate employers have the option of reporting all of their newly hired employees to only one State in which they do business. This data is then submitted to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), where it is compared against child support order information contained in the Federal Case Registry (FCR) for possible enforcement of child support obligations by wage garnishment. New hire data may also be used at the State level to find new hires that have been receiving unemployment insurance or other public benefits for which they may no longer be eligible, helping States to reduce waste and fraud. Federal Agencies report this data directly to the NDNH. Also known as (W4) data, after the form used to report the employees.

(See also: State Directory of New Hires; National Directory of New Hires)

New Hire Reporting

Program that requires that all employers report newly hired employees to the State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) in their State. This data is then submitted to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), where it is compared against child support order information contained in the Federal Case Registry (FCR) for possible enforcement of child support obligations by wage garnishment. Some data is also made available to States to find new hires that have been receiving unemployment insurance or other public benefits for which they may no longer be eligible, helping States to reduce waste and fraud.

(See also: State Directory of New Hires; National Directory of New Hires)

Non-custodial Parent (NCP)

The parent who does not have primary care, custody, or control of the child, and has an obligation to pay child support. Also referred to as the obligor.

(See also: Custodial Party)

Non IV-A Case

A support case in which the custodial parent has requested IV-D services but is not receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Also known as a Non-TANF case.

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. (Non-IV-D orders that pre-date January 1, 1994 may be subject to different disbursement requirements.) A non IV-D order is one where the State:

  1. Is not currently providing service under the State's Title IV-A, Title IV-D, Title IV-E, or Title XIX programs.
  2. Has not previously provided State services under any of these programs.
  3. Has no current application or applicable fee for services paid by either parent.

A IV-D case may become a non IV-D order when:

  1. All child support arrearages previously assigned to the State have been paid, and/or
  2. The parent(s) originally making application for a State’s IV-D services request(s) termination of those IV-D services.

Non IV-D orders established or modified in the State on or after October 1, 1998 must be included in the State Case Registry (SCR) for transmission to the Federal Case Registry (FCR).

A non IV-D order can be converted into IV-D case when the appropriate application and fees for IV-D services are paid by a parent, or when the custodial parent begins receiving Title IV-A services for benefit of the child(ren).