Skip County Header
Alameda County, CA, acgov.org
ACGOV Quick Links
Goto ACGOV Search

CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES GLOSSARY

INDEX

ANNUAL SERVICE FEE The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109-171, instructed all states to impose a $25 Annual Service Fee to non-welfare families (never-assisted cases) IF $500.00 or more is collected and distributed to the family between October 1 and September 30 of each year. The fee is assessed in October of the following year. In California, the fee was imposed as of October 1, 2011. For example, if $500. or more was collected between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011 on behalf of a family who has never received TANF assistance, a fee of $25.00 will be deducted from the first payment collected after October 1, 2011.

Back to Top
ARREARS A sum of money a non-custodial parent owes for past-due child, medical, or spousal support for a specific time period.

Back to Top
ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS, AKA NON-WELFARE ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS Prior to October 1, 1998 all past-due unpaid child support was assigned to the state/county when a family received CalWORKs/Foster Care cash assistance. Any money collected under an Assignment of Rights was retained by the county to reimburse the cash assistance paid to the family. With the enactment of PRWORA, the concept of Assignment of Rights was significantly modified. As of October 1, 1998, all past-due unpaid child support is temporarily assigned to the state/county only during the time the recipient receives cash assistance from a CalWORKs program. Once he or she stops receiving cash assistance, the arrears become conditionally assigned and collections are paid to the family unless the payment is through IRS tax refund intercept. The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (FDRA) modified the Assignment of Rights once again. As of October 1, 2009, unpaid past- due child support is not assigned to the state/county. Under FDRA, only child support due during the time a recipient receives cash assistance from a CalWORKs / Foster Care program is assigned to the state/county.

Back to Top
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES (CDCSS) The California Department of Child Support Services is the state agency within the California Health and Human Services Agency that administers the child support services program in California. The Department was created in January 2000 and is responsible for the allocation of child support funding and oversight of the local child support offices. Prior to the creation of CDCSS, the child support program was administered by the California Department of Social Services. http://www.childsup.cahwnet.gov/

Back to Top
CALIFORNIA PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE AKA CPLS The California Parent Locator Service (CPLS) handles locate requests from the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), other states' parent locator services and from local child support agencies. CPLS attempts to find the non-custodial parent's home and/or work addresses or assets by accessing the records of the following agencies: Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Motor Vehicles, criminal justice agencies, public utilities, and records of other state and local agencies. CPLS is under the purview of the state Department of Justice.

Back to Top
CalWORKs Acronym for California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids Program, The California state legislature created the program in 1997 to conform to the requirements set in the federal act, PRWORA. CalWORKs is California's implementation of TANF which replaces AFDC. Two major changes in the new welfare program, CalWORKs, are the set time limits on cash assistance and the requirement that recipients participate in a "Welfare to Work" plan. Both changes are federally mandated. CalWORKs replaces all AFDC programs in California and is administered by the California Department of Social Services.

Back to Top
CENTRAL REGISTRY The California Central Registry (CCR) receives all incoming inter-jurisdictional cases and reviews the documents from other states for completeness. CCR then sends the cases to the local Child Support Services office in the county where the non-custodial parent resides. CCR is under the direction of the California Dept. of Justice.

Back to Top
COMPROMISE OF ARREARS Compromise of Arrears Program: In some instances, a non-custodial parent may qualify for a Compromise of Arrears under California law. If the parent qualifies, the Compromise of Arrears program provides a means for a parent to pay less than the total child support debt owed to the State if the parent did not pay the court ordered child support due while their child received public assistance. For more information please visit the Compromise of Arrears Program page at the California Department of Child Support Services website.

Back to Top
CONDITIONALLY ASSIGNED ARREARS Under PRWORA unpaid past-due child support was temporarily assigned to the state/county while a family receives CalWORKs/Foster Care cash assistance. Once the child stops receiving cash assistance, the money that was temporarily assigned to the state/county becomes conditionally assigned back to the family. When money is collected, it is paid to the family unless the collection is through the IRS tax refund intercept program. If the collection is through an IRS tax refund interception the funds are retained by the county to reimburse the aid paid to the family. For Assignment of Rights entered on or after October 1, 2009 under FDRA, unpaid past-due child support is not assigned while a family receives CalWORKs/Foster Care cash assistance.

Back to Top
CP Acronym for the Custodial Party. The Custodial Party is the individual or agency that has primary custody of the child(ren); generally the person or agency with whom the child resides.

Back to Top
CP/11350 CP is an acronym for Civil Paternity. These are legal actions we file to establish paternity and/or child support and health insurance coverage. 11350 is the civil action code number under which we file many of our legal actions. Generally in Alameda county, the term 11350 indicates that we will file to establish child support and/or health insurance coverage only; paternity is not at issue (i.e. child conceived during a marriage). A CP is filed to establish paternity, child support, and health insurance coverage.

Back to Top
CURRENT ASSISTANCE A child support case for a child or family currently receiving cash assistance from a CalWORKs/Foster Care program is considered a current assistance case.

Back to Top
CURRENT SUPPORT A specific dollar amount for child/spousal/medical support set by court order. Current support is usually set as a monthly obligation amount. A current support obligation generally continues until the child(ren) emancipates.

Back to Top
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AKA DSS The Department of Social Services administers the public assistance programs on the state and county level. These include CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and Foster Care programs.

Back to Top
DISREGARD Under California law, if a family is currently receiving cash assistance from a CalWORKs program, the first $50.00 of current child support collected each month is sent to the custodial party as a disregard payment. This $50.00 payment is 'disregarded' by the Welfare Department when calculating the family's cash grant benefit.

Back to Top
DIB Acronym for Disability Insurance Benefits. The Employment Development Department (EDD) will automatically intercept 25% of Disability Insurance Benefits due to a non-custodial parent to pay for current and past-due child support. The intercepted funds are sent directly to the State Disbursement Unit.

Back to Top
EDD Acronym for Employment Development Department. We receive quarterly wage information for the NCP from EDD to serve Wage Assignments and to calculate child support.

Back to Top
EMANCIPATION In California a child emancipates at the age of 18 if the child is not attending a full-time high school or equivalent program. If the child is attending high school at age 18, emancipation occurs at the time of graduation or on their 19th birthday, whichever occurs first.

Back to Top
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR Every Superior Court in California maintains an Office of the Family Law Facilitator to provide assistance at no cost to individuals regarding family law matters. A Family Law Facilitator is an attorney with experience in mediation and/or litigation in family law. The Family Law Facilitator does not represent any party and there is no attorney-client privilege between the Facilitator and an individual assisted by the Family Law Facilitator. For more information, please visit http://www.alameda.courts.ca.gov/courts/divs/family/flfo_hours.pdf or www.courtinfo.ca.gov.

Back to Top
FAMILY VIOLENCE INDICATOR (FVI) The Family Violence Indicator is used by local, state, and federal child support agencies to protect the privacy and safety of a custodial party, a non-custodial parent, and/or a dependent child(ren) when there is reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse and the disclosure of information could be harmful. An FVI will prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information in a child support case in which there is reasonable evidence of child abuse or domestic violence.

Back to Top
FEDERAL CASE REGISTRY (FCR) The Federal Case Registry is a national database that processes and maintains information on individuals who have an active child support case. The FCR receives information from each state as well as federal government agencies and matches it with previously received information. New information is then shared with the local agency enforcing the child support case. The FCR is administered by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and is part of the Federal Parent Locator Service.

Back to Top
FEDERAL DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT OF 2005 (FDRA) The Federal Deficit Reduction Act included changes to the child support enforcement program that simplify the Assignment of Rights and the child support distribution rules for families who receive public assistance. For Assignments of Rights entered on or after October 1, 2009, the assignment will cover only that child support which accrues while the child(ren) and family are receiving TANF benefits. The FDRA also requires that States assess an annual fee of $25.00 for child support services provided to families who have never received TANF services if child support efforts on their behalf result in an annual collection of $500.00 or more. California will begin to assess this fee against collections received on and after October 1, 2010.

Back to Top
FEDERAL PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE AKA FPLS The Federal Parent Locator Services is a national computerized database operated by the Federal Office of Child Support. FPLS provides address and asset information on non-custodial parents. Information is gathered from federal, state, and local agencies and is used by state and local child support enforcement agencies to locate non-custodial parents for establishment and enforcement of child support orders. FPLS includes the Federal Case Registry and the National Directory of New Hires.

Back to Top
FORMER ASSISTANCE A child support case for a child or family that formerly received cash assistance from a CalWORKs/Foster Care program is considered a former assistance case.

Back to Top
FTB Acronym for Franchise Tax Board. The Franchise Tax Board assists local child support agencies with collection of past due child support through wage assignment, bank liens, property seizures, interception of state tax refunds, and other enforcement tools.

Back to Top
INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER (IWO) A court order or administrative notice to withhold income for payment of child support. An IWO is served on an employer to make automatic deductions from wages or income, as defined by PRWORA. The employer is required to withhold support from a non-custodial parent's wages and send the payment to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Also known as Wage Withholding.
Title 22, Division 13, Section 110355

Back to Top
INTEREST Under the California Code of Civil Procedure, interest accrues on unpaid money judgments. In 1992 local child support offices were mandated to calculate interest on child support, spousal support and medical support arrears in accordance with this state law. Pursuant to state law, interest is calculated retroactively to the first delinquent or missed payment and accrues from that time forward. The interest rate is currently 10% per year.

Back to Top
MEDICALLY NEEDY ONLY AKA MNO In MNO cases the custodial party has requested that we obtain and enforce medical support only. We do not collect child support in MNO cases unless the custodial party requests additional child support enforcement services, which they can do at any time, or if the child goes on aid we will pursue child support.

Back to Top
MODIFICATION Child support orders may be reviewed for modification at the request of either party (custodial or non-custodial parent). Modifications are done, for example, to reflect changes in parental income, in childcare costs or in a parent's obligation to support other children.

Back to Top
NATIONAL DIRECTORY OF NEW HIRES (NDNH) The National Directory of New Hires is a national database maintained as part of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. State and Federal agencies report employment information to the NDNH, which then shares the information with the local child support services agency. The information includes newly hired data as well as quarterly earnings.

Back to Top
NATIONAL MEDICAL SUPPORT ORDER (NMSN) Under federal and state law, parties are responsible to provide health insurance for their child(ren). Health Insurance may include vision and dental care. An NMSN is served upon the non-custodial parent's employer to require the employer to provide health insurance to the minor child(ren), if available through the employer at reasonable or no cost.
Title 22, Division 13, Section 110449

Back to Top
NEVER ASSISTANCE A child support case for a child or family that has never received cash assistance from a CalWORKs/Foster Care program is considered a never assistance case.

Back to Top
NCP Acronym for Non-Custodial Parent. The Non-Custodial Parent is the parent that does not have custody of the child(ren) and may be or is obligated to provide support for the child(ren).

Back to Top
NON IV-D CASE A case in which the child support order and enforcement of the order are handled by a private attorney, without the assistance of the local Title IV-D child support office. The custodial party and child(ren) in a Non IV-D case are not currently receiving services under the state's Title IV-A (TANF), Title IV-E (foster care), or Title IV-D (child support) programs. All Non IV-D court orders filed on or after October 1, 1998 must be registered with the State Case Registry. (see also Title IV-D case)

Back to Top
NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT OF WAGES AKA NOA This is an administrative wage assignment issued pursuant to a court order. A NOA is not signed by a judge nor filed with the court but has the full weight and effect of a court issued wage assignment.

Back to Top
NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT OF HEALTH INSURANCE AKA NOAH This is an administrative health insurance assignment issued pursuant to a court order. A NOAH is not signed by a judge nor filed with the court but has the full weight and effect of a court issued Health Insurance Coverage Assignment.

Back to Top
OFFICE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT (OCSE). The Office of Child Support Agency is the federal agency within the Administration for Families & Children which is within the Department of Health & Human Services that oversees the federal child support program. Created in 1975 under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, OCSE develops national child support policy; oversees, evaluates, and audits State child support programs; and provides technical assistance and training to State programs. The Office of child Support Enforcement also operates the Federal Parent Locator Service, which includes the Federal Case Registry and the National Directory of New Hires.

Back to Top
OMBUDSPERSON An Ombudsperson is available at every local California child support agency to assist any individual with the child support program. The Ombudsperson will provide information about the program, answer questions, resolve issues, and assist participants throughout the Complaint Resolution Process.

Back to Top
PATERNITY This is the relationship of a father to a child. Paternity can be legally established through a court order or through the Paternity Opportunity Program (POPS) by signing a Declaration of Paternity form. One of the services available through the Alameda County Department of Child Support Services is the establishment of paternity through a Superior Court order or judgment. Paternity must be established before child support or medical support can be ordered.

Back to Top
PATERNITY OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM, AKA POPs POPs was created by the state legislature in response to the mandate of the federal Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Program. A hospital-based program, POPs provides an opportunity for unmarried parents to acknowledge paternity at the time of the child's birth. The completed Paternity Acknowledgment form is sent with the birth certificate to the Office of Vital Records and a copy of the completed form is given to each parent. A copy is also sent to Child Support Services. The Paternity Acknowledgment form is legally binding sixty days after signing.

Back to Top
PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED ARREARS All child support arrears assigned to the county/state (under an Assignment of Rights) prior to September 30, 1998. Pursuant to PRWORA as of October 1, 1998, Permanently Assigned Arrears also include child support arrears that accrue while a child is receiving cash assistance through CalWORKs or Foster Care.

Back to Top
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY & WORK OPPORTUNITY RECONCILIATION ACT OF 1996 AKA PRWORA This federal legislation took effect October 1, 1998 and required major changes in public assistance programs and in child support enforcement programs. In many ways PRWORA redefined both welfare and child support enforcement. Under PRWORA, TANF replaced AFDC. PRWORA set new time limits and eligibility restrictions on receiving cash assistance. Each state adopted it's own program to meet the new welfare and child support requirements; California's program is called CalWORKs. PRWORA also established new distribution and reporting requirements for child support programs. Prior to PRWORA there were two case types, welfare and non-welfare, and two support distribution types: permanently assigned current support and arrears and never assigned current support and arrears. With enactment of PRWORA three categories of case-types were created: current assistance, former assistance and never assistance. Under PRWORA there are also now six distribution types: never assigned current support and arrears, permanently assigned current support and permanently assigned arrears, temporarily assigned arrears, conditionally assigned arrears, unassigned pre-assistance arrears, and unassigned during assistance arrears.

Back to Top
POE Acronym for Place of Employment.

Back to Top
QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (QDRO) A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a court order required in some circumstances to assign pension monies for payment of current or past due child support.

Back to Top
QUALIFIED MEDICAL CHILD SUPPORT ORDER (QMCSO) A Qualified Medical Child Support Order is a court order required in some circumstances to require medical support and/or health benefit coverage for a child through a participant's group health plan.

Back to Top
RECOUPMENT This is the amount of child support collected by Child Support Services under the Assignment of Rights regulations and which is retained by the County to reimburse the cash grant paid, thereby reducing the unreimbursed assistance pool.

Back to Top
SDU, STATE DISBURSEMENT UNIT The State Disbursement Unit, referred to as the SDU, is the central collection and distribution location for all child support payments in California. For more information on the SDU, please visit their website at www.casdu.com

Back to Top
STATE UTILITY MATCH SYSTEM AKA SUMS A number of public utility companies report address information to the Department of Justice. This information is used by Child Support Services to locate non-custodial parents.

Back to Top
TEMPORARILY ASSIGNED ARREARS Under PRWORA, any child support arrears that accrue after October 1, 1998 and before a family receives public assistance are temporarily assigned to the county during the time the family receives cash assistance. Any money collected towards those arrears is retained by the county and applied to the family's unreimbursed assistance pool. Once public assistance is discontinued the assignment of arrears ends. The temporarily assigned arrears become conditionally assigned arrears. For Assignment of Rights entered on or after October 1, 2009 under FDRA, unpaid past-due child support is not assigned while a family receives CalWORKs/Foster Care cash assistance.

Back to Top
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES, AKA TANF Under PWRORA, AFDC was abolished and replaced by TANF. TANF changed the eligibility requirements for receiving public assistance and set a five-year adult lifetime limit on receiving cash assistance. TANF is a federal program; in California the state-level program is CalWORKs.

Back to Top
TITLE IV-A This refers to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act that established eligibility and cash assistance for public assistance for needy families in programs such as CalWORKs. In California, the Department of Social Services is the designated Title IV-A agency which administers TANF/CalWORKs cash assistance.

Back to Top
TITLE IV-D This refers to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act that addresses child support enforcement. In California, the Department of Child Support Services and the local child support services offices are the designated Title IV-D agency.

Back to Top
TITLE IV-D CASE A case in which either the custodial party or the non-custodial parent has requested IV-D child support services, either through an application or by referral from the local Title IV-A or IV-E agency. A case consists of a custodial party, a non-custodial parent or putative father, and dependent(s). (see also "non-IV-D case")

Back to Top
TITLE IV-E This refers to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act that established foster care cash assistance for needy children. The Department of Social Services is the designated Title IV-E agency in California.

Back to Top
UIB Acronym for Unemployment InsuranceBenefit. Under law, the local child support agency can automatically intercept 25% of a non-custodial parent's UIB. Unemployment information, such as the employee's name and address, Social Security number, and UIB benefit detail, is provided to the Federal Case Registry, which then shares the information with the local child support agencies.

Back to Top
UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT AKA UIFSA Enacted in 1992, this federal legislation sets out procedures for enforcing child support orders across state lines and establishes the concept of "Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction." Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction sets the parameters for jurisdiction and modification of child support orders when the parents live in different states. UIFSA also simplifies income withholding across state lines by requiring employers to honor wage assignments issued by another state's court.

Back to Top
UNASSIGNED DURING ASSISTANCE ARREARS As defined by PRWORA, Unassigned During Assistance Arrears are those child support arrears which accrued while a family received TANF/CalWORKs or Foster Care cash assistance but which exceed the unreimbursed assistance pool. Upon collection, these arrears are paid to the family.

Back to Top
UNASSIGNED PRE-ASSISTANCE ARREARS As defined by PRWORA, Unassigned Pre-Assistance Arrears are those child support arrears which accrued before a family received TANF/CalWORKs or Foster Care cash assistance but which exceed the unreimbursed assistance pool. Upon collection, these arrears are paid to the family. For Assignment of Rights entered on or after October 1, 2009 under FDRA, child support arrears which accrued before a family received CalWORKs/Foster Care cash assistance are not assigned.

Back to Top
UNREIMBURSED ASSISTANCE POOL AKA UAP This is the cumulative amount of cash grant assistance paid to a family through TANF/CalWORKs cash assistance or for a child in Foster Care and which has not been repaid through assigned support collections. The County cannot retain more in child support collection than the amount of cash aid paid nor can the County recover more than the total amount of assigned court-ordered support obligations. If the un-reimbursed assistance pool is paid in full, any additional child support collection is paid to the family.

Back to Top
UNIFORM RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT ACT AKA URESA This 1950 legislation was enacted to address enforcement of child support orders when the parents live in different states. URESA was revised under the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) and in 1992 was replaced by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Back to Top
WAGE ASSIGNMENT AKA WAGE WITHHOLDING ORDER AKA WAGE GARNISHMENT A wage assignment is a court order requiring an employer to deduct a specified amount of money from an employee's wages. Pursuant to state law, all child support orders issued in California include a wage assignment order.

Back to Top
WAGE VERIFICATION A form we send to a possible employer to verify wages, addresses, etc.

Back to Top

Alameda County sealAlameda County © 2012 • All Rights Reserved • Legal / DisclaimersAccessibility