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Glossary of Terms

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Abandoned Collections Account - the state IV-D account into which undeliverable collections are transferred once a determination has been made that the payment cannot be disbursed. This account is used to reimburse state expenditures.

ACSES - the acronym for the Automated Child Support Services System, a comprehensive statewide on-line computer system providing case management, financial management, reports, statistics and an extensive cross reference system.

Adjustment - (Modification) is a legal action to change the amount of the order, which can be up or down based upon application of the state's presumptive guideline; or to add medical support to meet the child(ren)'s health care needs.

Administrative Costs - the amount of court ordered costs that must be repaid to the Child Support Enforcement Unit such as genetic tests, service of process fees, or attorney's costs.

Administrative Lien and Attachment - a notice to withhold child support, child support arrearage, child support debt, or retroactive support due from a noncustodial parent's workers' compensation benefits that is issued to any person, insurance company, or agency providing such benefits.

Administrative Process Action (APA) - determination of paternity and/or support obligations through a non-judicial process.

Administrative Review - a face-to-face meeting between the CSE Unit and either the custodial party or the noncustodial parent for reviewing arrearage amounts or distribution of amounts collected. The county must provide the custodial party or noncustodial parent a written notification of the results of the Administrative Review, including notice of the right to have the case reviewed by the state Child Support Services Division.

Alleged Parent - the individual claimed to be the parent of a child(ren) for whom parentage has not been legally established or is in dispute. The alleged parent may be also called the putative parent.

Allocation - the process of apportionment of a collection to a specific noncustodial parent's obligation based on the legal order for support to satisfy the various classes of the noncustodial parent's receivables.

Application - the state prescribed form, CSE-6, which indicates that the individual is applying for Child Support Services. The application is signed by the individual applying for services and a fee is paid or waived on basis of hardship.

Arrearage - the total amount of the court ordered support obligations that are past due and unpaid. Such amount is calculated by multiplying the amount of the support obligation (including any modification thereto) by the number of months that have elapsed since the inception of the order and subtracting from the product the amount of support paid by the noncustodial parent, through the court, directly to the obligee, Child Support Enforcement Unit, or Family Support Registry (FSR).

Assignment of Support Rights - the determination that a family is eligible for IV-A benefits automatically invokes a state law (Section 26-2-111(3)(g), C.R.S., as amended) that assigns to the State Department all rights that the applicant may have to support from any other person on his/her own behalf or on behalf of any other family member for whom application is made. The assignment is effective for both current and accrued support. The assignment remains in effect with respect to amounts of any unpaid support obligation accrued under the assignment that was owed prior to the termination of IV-A benefits and is limited by the total amount of IV-A cash assistance received. When a child is placed in foster care, all rights to current and accrued child support for the benefit of the child are assigned to the State Department pursuant to Section 26-13-113, C.R.S.

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Case Category - category of a case identifies the type of IV-D case. Case categories must be maintained on ACSES as prescribed by the state department.

Categorization - identifies the action required on the case.

Challenge - when either party disagrees in writing with the review results because the guideline calculation contained alleged inaccurate information. The parties' right to challenge is included in the Post Review Notice or the Administrative Process, Notice of Financial Responsibility for Review and Adjustment.

Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Unit – is the county office administering the Child Support Services (CSS) program.

Colorado Initial Date of Receipt – the date the child support payment is first received by the Family Support Registry or the Child Support Enforcement Unit.

Confidential - privileged information of individuals, which is private, and not for release, disclosure, or distribution.

Consumer Credit Reporting Agency - any person who, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

Continued Services Cases - non-public assistance Child Support Services cases in which the Child Support Enforcement Unit continues to provide services after IV-A financial, Medicaid or IV-E foster care eligibility ceases unless notified by the custodial party that continued services are not desired.

Cost Effectiveness Ratio - The total county combined collections divided by the total county administrative costs.

County Department – is a county department of social services.

C.R.S. - Colorado Revised Statutes.

CS Case - a child support case in which services are provided to establish, modify, and enforce support obligations pursuant to the state IV-D plan.

Custodial Party – is the legally responsible parent, blood relative, adoptive relative or agency. Also known as the caretaker relative, custodial relative, custodian, obligee, government agency (for foster care cases) or, on ACSES, as the recipient/applicant and abbreviated as R/A.

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Disbursement – is the processing of the payable to payees other than the Department of Human or Social Services.

Disposition - the date on which a support order is officially established and/or recorded or the action is dismissed.

Distribution - application of the allocated collection to the IV-D retained and/or payable accounts according to federal regulations based on assignment of rights to support, continued services, and application for services, such as:

  • Current support applied against and retained for reimbursement of IV-A public assistance paid and foster care maintenance payments.
  • Creation of the liability to pay to the family non-assigned current support or arrears payments.
  • Retention of arrears collection to reimburse past public assistance or maintenance payments. Other IV-D accounts include but are not limited to over collect payments to noncustodial parent, prepay, excess over grant, excess over Unreimbursed Maintenance Payments

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EFPLS – Expanded Federal Parent Locator Service

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Notice - the notice that is sent to the IV-A recipient at the beginning of each month informing him/her of how much public assistance money was deposited into his/her account. The notice also contains information about how much child support was paid by the noncustodial parent during that month.

Enforcing County - Colorado county responsible for processing the case and providing Child Support Services.

Erroneous Disbursement - a disbursement that is paid but subsequently found to be in error. The disbursement may have been sent to the wrong payee, contain the wrong amount, should not have been disbursed due to lack of funds supporting the disbursement or the discovery of other balances that should have been reimbursed. An erroneous disbursement can occur for disbursement paid to the custodial party, noncustodial parent or other states. An erroneous disbursement may be discovered in the same period it is issued (a current period erroneous disbursement) or in a subsequent period (a prior period erroneous disbursement).

Expedited Processes - administrative or expedited judicial processes or both which increase effectiveness and meet specified processing time frames and under which the presiding officer is not a judge of the court. Actions to establish or enforce support obligations in IV-D cases must be completed within the time frames specified in federal regulations.

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Family Support Registry (FSR) – the contracted fiscal agent responsible for processing all child support payments.

FFP - Federal financial participation.

Financial Institution Data Match - Federal mandate requiring the state to do a periodic match of noncustodial parents who owe arrearage to accounts maintained at financial institutions.

FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) - a code number assigned to each state and county within the United States. It is used by Child Support Enforcement Units to identify the enforcing state and county in collection reports to the state department.

Former Arrears Due (FAD) Case - any IV-D case which formerly received IV-A cash assistance or IV-E maintenance but no longer receives CSE services where there are still assigned arrears due.

Former Assistance Case - any IV-D case, which formerly received IV-A cash assistance or IV-E maintenance.

Foster Care Fee - an amount assessed to the legally responsible person(s) whose child(ren) are receiving substitute care through a foster care placement. The amount is determined by application of the Colorado Child Support Guidelines.

FPLS - Federal Parent Locator Service.

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Genetic Testing - an analysis of inherited factors of mother, child, and alleged father that can help to prove or disprove that a particular man fathered a particular child.

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Health Insurance - medical insurance or medical and dental insurance that may be provided through a parent's employer or acquired individually by the parent.

HHS - the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

High Volume Automated Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases - the use of automated data processing on interstate cases to search various state data bases and seize identified assets of delinquent obligors, using the same techniques as used in intrastate cases upon request of another state.

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Income Assignment - the process whereby a noncustodial parent's child support payments are taken directly from his/her income and forwarded to the FSR through a notice to the employer, trustee, or other payor of funds.

Initial Date of Receipt - the date on which the support collection is initially received by the IV-D agency or the legal entity of any state or political subdivision actually making the collection, whichever is earliest. This date will determine the accounting month in which the collection will be applied.

Initiating State/Jurisdiction - the state/jurisdiction, which requests CSE, services from the state/jurisdiction where the noncustodial parent resides, has property, or derives income.

Interstate Case - a CSE services case, which involves more than one state.

Interstate Central Registry - the Interstate Network unit within the Colorado Division of CSS that receives, disseminates and has oversight responsibility for interstate IV-D cases.

Interstate Network - the unit in the Colorado Division of CSS, which has responsibility for interstate central registry functions.

Intrastate Case - a Colorado Child Support Services case that involves more than one county.

IV-A (“Four-A”) – reference to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act covering the Federal-State Public Assistance Program.

IV-A Cash Assistance - payments paid to or on behalf of families with children pursuant to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.

IV-A Case - a case referred from the IV-A Unit to the CSE unit for child support services when the family has been approved for IV-A financial benefits.

IV-A Unit - the county unit administering the IV-A (Colorado Works or TANF) cash assistance program.

IV-D (“Four-D”) - Child Support Services Program pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

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.

IV-E Foster Care - these cases are mandatory referrals to the CSE Unit if there is a noncustodial parent, unless the exceptions noted at 7.605.8 (12 CCR 2509-7) are met. The foster care maintenance is paid from federal matching funds under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act if eligibility requirements are met.

IV-E Payment - payment made on behalf of a child for his/her foster care maintenance in accordance with Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

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Judgment - a payment becomes a final money judgment when it is due and not paid. In order to enforce a judgment, a verified entry of judgment must be filed with the court. This verified entry of judgment must specify the period of time that the judgment covers and the total amount of the judgment for that period. The court may have issued an order for a judgment for an amount of arrears accrued during a specific time period. Both the order of judgment and the verified entry of judgment allows the institution of post judgment remedies, such as garnishments.

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Locate - information concerning the physical whereabouts of the noncustodial parent or the noncustodial parent's employer(s), other sources of income, or assets, as appropriate, which is sufficient to take the next appropriate action in a case.

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Medicaid Referral Cases - cases in which families, with a noncustodial parent, receive Medicaid but not IV-A, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or foster care financial benefits, and are provided IV-D services.

Monthly Amount Due – the monthly amount the noncustodial parent is expected to pay toward the arrearage.

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Non IV-E Foster Care - classified by the state CSS Division on the ACSES as a Non-PA case; however, they are treated like public assistance cases because they originate within Child Welfare Services and, pursuant to statute, contain an automatic assignment. These cases are also known as Title XX Foster Care. An application for CSS is required on these cases if they are referred to the CSE Unit at the discretion of the director of the county department.

Non-Public Assistance (Non-PA) Case - a IV-D case in which the family currently does not receive public assistance.

Noncustodial Parent (NCP) - the legally responsible relative or alleged parent who is not living with the dependent children.

Not in Child's Best Interest - order would not be reviewed based on a good cause determination in cases with an assignment of rights as defined in Section 6.230.1.

Notice of Collection - a periodic report of Colorado Works Program collection information, which is sent by the Child Support Enforcement Unit to current and former Colorado Works Program recipients who have assigned their rights to support.

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Obligee - the party to whom an obligation of support is owed.

Obligor - the party bound by a court or administrative order to provide support.

OCSE - Office of Child Support Enforcement. The Health and Human Services agency, which is the federal agency responsible for the supervision of state child support services programs pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

Original Order - the original order is the Colorado divorce decree, legal separation or declaration of invalidity of marriage with an order for current support. The original order may also be the earliest active Colorado juvenile support order or the earliest active Colorado Uniform Reciprocal Services of Support Act/Uniform Interstate Family Support Act order.

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Parties to the Action – those individuals with whom the child support order is made.

Permanently Assigned Arrears - arrears, which accrued under a court or administrative order and were assigned prior to October 1, 1997, plus all arrears, which accrue while a family is receiving IV-A cash assistance or IV-E maintenance after October 1, 1997.

Placing Parent - the legally responsible parent or caretaker who the child(ren) was living with prior to foster care placement. This person is responsible to pay for all or a portion of the child's foster care services.

Post Assistance Arrears - the arrears that accrue under a court or administrative order on a continued services case after the custodial party discontinues IV-A services.

Pre-Assistance Arrears - the arrears that accrued from October 1, 1997, forward, under a court or administrative order before the custodial party started receiving either IV-A or Child Support Services. If these arrears are collected between October 1, 1997 and September 30, 2000, they are retained by the state. If the arrears are collected after October 1, 2000, they are retained by the state only while the family is receiving assistance; otherwise, they are forwarded to the family.

Pre-Offset Notice - a notice generated yearly by the state Office of Child Support Services notifying noncustodial parents of the enforcement remedies that may be applied to their cases and advising of their right(s) to request an administrative review.

Pre-Review Screening - an assessment of the IV-D case to determine the appropriateness for review.

Procedure - processes developed by county Child Support Enforcement Units to implement state policy and rules.

Public Assistance (PA) Case - a IV-A, IV-E foster care or a Medicaid Referral case. Cases that only receive public assistance through state or county diversion assistance are not referrals. Recipients of diversion assistance may receive cash or vendor payments in a one-time payment or ongoing payments for less than 90 calendar days. If the duration of the assistance is greater than 90 calendar days, a referral is made to the Child Support Enforcement Unit. Parties receiving public assistance in cases that are not referred to the Child Support Enforcement Unit may apply for Child Support Services as a non–public assistance applicant.

Putative Parent - see Alleged Parent.

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Responding State/Jurisdiction - the state/jurisdiction where a child support order exists or the noncustodial parent resides, has property, or derives income, which provides Child Support Services upon request from another state/ jurisdiction.

Retroactive Support Due - the amount of support due in a non-public assistance case for a time period which occurred prior to the entry of the order establishing paternity, if paternity is in question, or prior to the entry of an order establishing child support if paternity is not in question. The amount of support due in a IV-A case prior to the initial receipt of IV-A benefits and prior to the entry of the order establishing paternity, if paternity is in question, or prior to the entry of an order establishing child support and/or maintenance, if paternity is not in question.

Review - an objective evaluation of information necessary for application of the state’s presumptive guidelines to determine the appropriateness of the level or amount of the child support order and to determine the medical coverage to meet the child(ren)'s health care needs.

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SEU - State Enforcement Unit

Specific Dollar Amount for Medical Purposes - an amount ordered by the court obligating the noncustodial parent to pay the custodial party a certain amount of money for medical care not covered by insurance and/or reimbursement for providing the health insurance.

SPLS - the State Parent Locator Service.

State Department -the Colorado Department of Human Services.

State Plan - the comprehensive statement submitted by the State Department to the Department of Health and Human Services describing the nature and scope of its Child Support Services Program and giving assurance that it will be administered in conformity with the specific requirements stipulated in Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and other official issuances of Health and Human Services.

Support - obligation amounts ordered by a court or through administrative process by a county Child Support Enforcement Unit to be paid on behalf of (a) child/ren or (b) child/ren and former spouse, if established in the same court order and if the former spouse is living with the child/ren.

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Termination of Review and Adjustment - the review/adjustment activity ceases based on specific criteria.

Total Program Expenditures - the total amount of costs associated with the Child Support Services program billed to the federal government for reimbursement.

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UIFSA - Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Title 14, Article 5, Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) which governs interstate case processing.

UMP - Unreimbursed Maintenance Payments. The amount of IV-E foster care maintenance payments, which have not been reimbursed by child support collections or other recoveries.

UPA - Unreimbursed Public Assistance. The amount of IV-A payments, which have not been reimbursed by child and spousal support collections or reduced by IV-A, established recoveries.

URESA or RURESA - The Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, Title 14, Article 5, C.R.S., as amended. Repealed in Colorado on January 1, 1995, the effective date of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

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Work Requirements - activities that can be ordered to require noncustodial parents to obtain work. Such activities include private or public employment, job search activities, community service, vocational training, or any other employment-related activities available to the noncustodial parent.

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Updated May 2016