Tuscarawas County Traci A. Berry
Assistant County Prosecutor / Director
Child Support Enforcement Agency Ryan Styer
Tuscarawas County Prosecuting Attorney


Several of the acronyms have been brought under scrutiny because there are several groups who are offended by the wording. However, these are the acronyms currently used by SETS. The most controversial is the use of the term APF or Absent Parent Father. The meaning is intended to designate that the father is absent from the home, not the child's life. This term is offensive to some fatherhood groups and it is not my intention to promote the term, only to note the use of it in the system.

APF - Absent Parent Father

APM - Absent Parent Mother

BOW - Born Out of Wedlock

CHD - Child

CPF - Custodial Parent Father

CPM - Custodial Parent Mother

CSEA - Child Support Enforcement Agency

CTA - Care Taker Agency (ex: Dept. of Job & Family Services, foster care)

CTR - Care Taker Relative (ex: grandparent)

DOB - Date of Birth

DOD - Date of Death

PA - Public Assistance

PCSA - Public Children's Service Agency

PPF - Putative Parent Father

UIFSA - Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Age of Majority - Attained upon the child's 18th birthday and graduation from high school. A child support order may remain in effect until 19 years of age if the child is attending an accredited high school as a full time student or is otherwise ordered by the court.

Alleged Father -A person who has been named as the father of a child born out of wedlock, but for whom paternity has not been established.

Allocation Hierarchy - The predetermined structure which SETS uses to allocate payments to a obligations; this structure is mandated by the federal and state policy, and can be modified by the court.

Arrearage - Delinquent and/or past due child support and/or alimony monies.

Buccal Swab - A recognized form of genetic testing used to determine paternity.

Caretaker - The person responsible for a dependent child's health or welfare, who has temporary or legal custody of the child.

Case Closure - Federally mandated reasons for any agency to close a case. Classification of a case as closed does not terminate the court order or the legal obligation to pay any outstanding arrearage.

Case Number - A unique 10 digit, system assigned number used to identify a SETS case; originally the application number for IV-D service; used to identify a group of participates within SETS.

Cash Medical Support - An amount ordered to be paid in a child support order toward the cost of health insurance provided by a public entity, another parent, or person with whom the child resides, through employment or otherwise, or for other medical cost not covered by insurance. A cash medical payment is a monthly obligation in addition to current child support payable by the support Obligor at any time the minor child is not covered by private health insurance.

Child Support - An amount of money under a court or administrative order that is due and owed by the non-custodial parent for the support of the parent's child(ren).

Child Support Guidelines - Schedules for determining uniform, adequate, and fair amounts of child support. The underlying data concerning the cost of supplying food, shelter, clothing, transportation, education, and miscellaneous expenses for children in urban and rural environment was drawn from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics.

Contempt of Court - Any act in willful defiance of the court's authority or dignity, or, intending to impede or frustrate the administration of justice. Contempt is punishable by fines and/or jail sentences.

County of Jurisdiction - The county the support order, administratively or judicially, was established or will be established.

County of Residence - The county in which the recipient of child support is residing.

Court Order Number - A unique number assigned by the court of jurisdiction in each county to a case. The first four letters are generally the year followed by the month and the next consecutive number for that year.

Default - Any case that has fallen behind in the payment schedule equivalent to one month's support obligation.

Direct Payments (Gift Deeming) - By Ohio statute, direct payments of support from Obligor to Obligee are to be considered gifts and are not to be credited against the Obligor's support obligation. Direct payments, therefore, result in the accrual of support arrearage and may subject the Obligor to legal sanctions.

DNA - See Paternity

FIDM (Financial Institute Data Match) - A tool of enforcement that cross references financial account information with child support arrearage cases. The account information is provided to CSEAs to implement a freeze and seizure of assets to reduce or pay in full a child support arrearage.

Foster Care - Legal custody award of children with a Public Children Service Agency upon finding of probable cause or of actual finding of dependency, abuse, neglect and in some cases delinquency. CSEA secures support and maintenance orders on behalf of PCSA.

Genetic Testing - See Paternity

Grant Amount - The current month's public assistance monies authorized to be paid to the family.

Health Care - Such medical support that includes coverage under a health insurance plan, payment of costs of premiums, co-payments, and deductibles, or payment for medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child.

Health Insurance Coverage - Accessible private health insurance that provides primary care services within thirty miles from the residence of the child subject to the child support order.

Injured Spouse - Joint filer for income tax refund monies. Such injured spouse can demand adjustment (e.g. payment for support arrearage monies withheld from his/her share of tax refunds). Even though the injured spouse claim has a six year statute of limitations, CSEA releases the monies to ODJFS or to the Obligee after a six month impound period.

Inputting Income - The act of awarding potential income to individuals not employed or voluntarily underemployed; the CSEA or court may project, using the child support guidelines, an income base for purposes of establishing a support order.

Interstate Case - A state requests or receives a request for assistance from another state for any of the following actions: locate an absent parent, establish paternity, establish a support order, collection actions, enforcement actions, or register a support order.

IV-D (pronounced 4D) - A section of federal law that authorizes enforcement remedies to collect support and provides funding for the local agency.

IV-D Application - A written, signed document required to be completed for individuals desiring child support services that are currently not receiving public assistance benefits.

Judgment - The official decision of a court of justice upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action or suit.

Lump Sum - A single payment which covers numerous obligations for a single obligor, lump sums payments are often bonuses or lottery winnings, and are allocated according to a special lump sum hierarchy.

Mistake of Fact Hearing - A hearing to determine if there was an error in the amount of current or overdue support or in the identity of the alleged absent parent.

Modification of Support - Change of prior support orders based upon a substantial change in circumstances. For example, the income of one party substantially increases or a support order which deviates from the amounts reflected by the Child Support Guidelines by more than 10% is deemed to be a substantial change warranting an increase in the support order.

New Hire Reporting - Program that requires all employers to report newly hired employees to the State Directory of New Hires in Ohio.

Obligee - A person, including a state or political subdivision, to whom a duty of support is owed or a person, including a state or a political subdivision, that has commenced proceedings for enforcement of actual or alleged duty of support or registration of foreign support order. It is immaterial if the person to whom a duty of support is owed is a recipient of public assistance.

Obligor - Any person owing a duty of support or against whom proceedings for enforcement for a duty of support or a registration of support order is commenced.

Objections - A written statement filed with the appropriate agency or court by the party who doe not agree with the Hearing Officer's Report or the Magistrate's Decision within the allotted time frames.

ODJFS (Ohio Department of Job & Family Services) - The State agency with responsibility for program development and administrative support for the Child Support Enforcement Program under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Ohio's operating child support structure is one in which IV-D services are state supervised, but county administered. The primary role of ODJFS is to act as an advisor to all 88 counties on policy and technical issues.

Ohio CSPC (Ohio Child Support Payment Central) - The official name of Ohio's State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Ohio CSPC is the umbrella that represents several activities mandated for implementation under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 to centralize child support payment collection and disbursement within each of the 50 states.

ORC (Ohio Revised Code) - Statutory and regulatory law of Ohio as opposed to court mandated common law. ORC also codifies common law.

Paternity (Genetic Tissue Testing) - Paternity tests examine genetic characteristics (markers) found within blood cell tissue. The four basic testing types are:

  1. Common Blood Group (ABO) Exclusions - 100% accurate
  2. Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) - 99.98% accurate
  3. Electrophoresis - 99.99% accurate
  4. DNA Probe - 99.99+ % accurate

Test results are reported as 1. Absolute Exclusions and 2. Probabilities of Paternity.

Paternity Affidavit - Attested, notarized documents executed in lieu of formal courtroom testimony for acknowledgment of paternity.

Payee - An individual to whom child support payments are to be made on behalf of the child.

Payor - An individual who has been ordered to make child support payments.

Processing Fee - An administrative service fee mandated by statute that is assessed against all child support obligations and paid by the obligor. The fee is 2% of all current orders including ordered payment on arrearages.

Pro-Rating - Employers have the option of prorating the monthly amount of child support to be deducted from the Obligor's pay check. The formula is to multiply the monthly amount by the 12 months in a year. That amount is divided by the number of pay periods in the 12 month cycle. Example: $100.00 per month x 12 months = $1200.00. $1200.00 divided by 26 pay periods (bi-weekly) = $46.16 deducted every two weeks. I f the obligor is paid weekly, $1200.00 divided by 52 weeks = $23.08 deducted every week. Payments must be remitted within 7 days after being deducted. The 12 monthly cycle does not mean a January through December year.

PRWORA (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) - Key welfare reform legislation designed to enhance the delivery of service to citizens and taxpayers in the State of Ohio and other states.

Purge - The county court has the ability to order certain conditions that must be met to avoid being found in contempt of the court's order(s). If these terms are met, the contempt is purged.

Putative - Persons alleged or reputed to be biological parents of children born out of wedlock.

Recoupment Account - An account established by a Child Support Enforcement Agency in order to collect funds owed the Agency due to a returned check or over disbursement. Each recoupment account has a receipt number which SETS pulls from the original payment posting.

Review and Adjustment - The act of re-examining a support order for possible changes in that order.

Sanction - Failure to cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Agency while receiving public assistance may result in being having benefits withheld until compliance is completed.

Service of Process - Delivery of subpoenas and summons which command that certain acts be done, such as provision of records and appearances for court hearings. Service is accomplished through four devices: 1. Personal; 2. Publication; 3. Certified mail, return receipt requested; and 4. Ordinary mail as evidenced by a certificate of mailing. The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe the type of service to use.

SETS (Support Enforcement Tracking System) - SETS is the internal system developed by ODJFS for case establishment, case management, and financial management for both IV-D and Non IV-D cases in the State of Ohio. SETS is being designed pursuant to federal requirements outlined in the Family Support Act of 1988, PRWORA96, and other federal and statutory and regulatory articles.

State Hearing - When an action is taken by an agency and the applicant/recipient disagrees with the action, he/she may request a state hearing. The Hearing Officer decides whether the action is appropriate and what the outcome will be.

Tax Offset - May be done by the Federal Internal Revenue Service or the State of Ohio or both, to withhold and offset the tax refunds of non-custodial parents to collect support arrearage.

URA (Unreimbursed Public Assistance) - The total public assistance monies received by a family minus payments made for court ordered child support.

Wage Withholding (Income Withholding) - Federal and state legislation requiring employers to deduct court ordered sums from employees wages to transmit such monies to CSPC for support and/or support arrearage payments. Orders for wage withholdings take precedence over all other forms of garnishment. The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) limits the amount that can be wage withheld to a maximum of 65% where arrearage exist. Two or more orders for withholding must be prorated.