Child Support - Common Terms

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A

Administrative Funds Recoupment: Administrative funds recoupment is money that a participant owes to the State because of a payment adjustment on his or her child support case.

Administrative Review: An administrative review is the process of addressing an obligor’s contest to an administrative enforcement claim.

Alleged Father: An alleged father is a man who claims or is claimed by another person to be the father of a child, but who has not been legally determined to be the father of that child.

Applicant: An applicant is the person or entity who asked for child support services or was referred for child support services by one of the following programs: Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Diversionary Work Program (DWP), IV-E Foster Care, Medical Assistance (MA), MinnesotaCare, and Child Care Assistance (CCAP).

Arrears / Arrearage: The terms arrears, and arrearage, mean support obligation amounts that are overdue and unpaid.

Assignment of Support: An assignment of support is the legal process by which an obligee receiving public assistance agrees to turn over to the state any right to child support. This includes arrears that accrue while the person receives public assistance. To qualify for cash assistance or other benefits, obligees must assign their support rights to the state. The state may keep collected arrears only up to the amount of public assistance received by the obligee.

Attorney of Record: The attorney of record is one who filed a Certificate of Representation with the court. Once an attorney files a certificate of representation, that attorney remains the attorney of record for a person until a court order dismisses the attorney or until the attorney formally withdraws from the file.

Automatic Recurring Withdrawal: Automatic recurring withdrawal allows obligors to authorize the Child Support Enforcement Division to automatically deduct payments from a specific checking account or savings account. Once the withdrawal is set up, the bank electronically withdraws the support payments from the obligor's bank account. Then the bank automatically sends the payment to the Child Support Payment Center. The obligor must be the owner of the account. The obligor authorizes the Child Support Payment Center to automatically withdraw support payments once or twice per month, on the 5th or 20th of the month. Applicants for automatic recurring withdrawal must include a blank, voided check or a pre-printed savings account deposit slip with their completed authorization.

B

Basic Support: Basic support is for expenses relating to the child's care, housing, food, clothing, and transportation. The amount is determined by applying the parent's combined parental income for determining child support (PICS) and the number of joint children to the basic support guidelines table. The basic support obligation does not include payment toward arrears.

Bench Warrant: A bench warrant is issued by a judge for the arrest of a person when that person does not appear in court or does not do something that was ordered by the court.

Biological Father: A biological father is the man who provided the paternal genes for a child.

Birth Record: Information collected at the time of birth, which includes the child's name, date of birth, place of birth, and parents' names; the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records keeps the original record. Birth record is often called birth certificate.

Buccal Swab: Buccal swabbing is genetic testing done by rubbing cotton swabs against the inside of a person’s cheek for cell collection.

C

Case Number: The case number is a unique number that identifies a child support case.

Case Status: The case status shows whether a case is open or closed.

Child: Child means an individual under 18 years of age, an individual under 20 years who is still attending secondary school, or an individual who, by reason of physical or mental condition, is incapable of self-support.

Child Care Assistance: Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps families pay child care costs for children up to age 12, and for children with special needs up to age 14. Child Care costs may be paid for qualifying families while they go to work, look for work, or attend school.

Child Care Support: Child care support is contributing to the cost of work or education related child care costs.

Child Support: Child support is money parents pay for the care, support, and education for their child. It may include a monthly court-ordered amount for basic support, child care support, and medical support.

Child Support Agency: The term child support agency means county offices that provide child support services and the state office that supervises the county offices.

Child Support Case: A child support case is any case where a party has either:

• assigned his or her rights to support to the state because of the receipt of public assistance as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 256.741; or

• has applied for nonpublic assistance child support services under title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 United States Code 654(4). The party who has an open child support case (IV-D case) receives services from the local child support agency such as:

o establishment of parentage;

o establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support orders; and

o collecting, distributing, and disbursing child support payments.

Child Support ezDocs is an interactive web tool that participants can use to request a review of their child support order, respond to an active review of their child support order or complete the pro se forms for child support modifications.

Child Support Magistrate: A child support magistrate is the judicial officer in an expedited process hearing. A child support magistrate has the same authority as a district court judge however, their subject matter jurisdiction is limited. For example, a child support magistrate has broad authority to make decisions about child support, but can only make decisions about custody or visitation arrangements if all parties agree on the arrangement.

Complaint: A complaint is the formal document that starts a legal action when it is filed with the court. A complaint provides the names of the people involved, the reason for the legal action, and what the person who brought the complaint wants the court to do.

Conditionally Assigned Arrears: Conditionally assigned arrears refers to support arrears that accrued before an obligee received public assistance and which the obligee assigned to Minnesota to repay public assistance benefits. Once the obligee leaves a public assistance program, any conditionally assigned arrears collected are paid to the family unless they are collected through the federal income tax refund offset, Project Intercept. Minnesota retains any money collected through Project Intercept until all public assistance arrears are paid.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an index measuring the increase in consumer costs calculated by the United States Department of Labor. Cost-of-living adjustments are based on this index.

Contempt: A person may be found in contempt of court if the person fails to do something that the court ordered that person to do, or if that person does some thing in court that the court orders the person not to do. The child support agency may ask the court to find an obligor in contempt of court for not making support payments. If the court finds the obligor in contempt, the court may order the obligor to serve a jail sentence unless the obligor begins to meet certain conditions, such as making regular support payments.

Contest: To contest is to dispute, oppose, or challenge an adverse claim or action by asserting a defense to it in a court or other legal proceeding, as in: An obligor may file a motion to contest the cost-of-living adjustment.

Continuance: A continuance is the rescheduling of a hearing or other proceeding to a future date. A continuance may be ordered before a hearing or as part of a hearing.

Controlling Order: When there is more than one support order from different states, the order that is used for current support is the controlling order.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment: A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is an increase in child and spousal support every two years due to inflation. Changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) determine the amount of the increase. The increase is automatic unless the obligor challenges the increase by filing a motion with the court.

Cost Recovery Fee: The cost recovery fee is a fee the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) charges applicants for child support services on certain nonpublic assistance cases. CSED uses this fee to offset the cost of providing child support services for children. This cost recovery fee is a set percentage that CSED charges on all child support and maintenance payments an applicant receives or owes on a case, up to a maximum amount. CSED sets this maximum amount annually in program policy. Obligors and obligees may pay cost recovery fees in addition to other program fees.

Court Order: A court order is a legally binding directive from a court of law that is issued by a magistrate, judge, or referee.

Credit Bureau Reporting: The child support agency reports overdue child support to credit bureaus monthly. Once the past due support has been reported to the credit bureaus, banks or other creditors that review the obligor's credit bureau report may limit or deny credit until the obligor cleans up the credit report by making partial or full payment.

Current Support: Current support is an ongoing court-ordered obligation for support due each month and is either received by the Minnesota Child Support Center or withheld by the obligor's employer or other payor of funds.

Custodial parent: The custodial parent is the person or entity who has primary care and custody of a minor child.

D

Debt: A debt is an obligation for past support and/or pregnancy and confinement expenses and has court-ordered repayment terms that the obligor is in compliance with.

Department of Employment and Economic Development: The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is a Minnesota state agency responsible for administering labor-related programs such as unemployment insurance for Minnesota residents. DEED also administers programs to help Minnesota businesses thrive and increase the state's economic success.

Direct Deposit: Direct deposits are support payments sent electronically from the Child Support Payment Center to the obligee's financial institution for deposit into the obligee's checking account, savings account, or stored value card account.

Direct Payment: A direct payment is money an obligor pays directly to an obligee to satisfy a support obligation. Obligees must forward any direct support payments received to the child support agency.

Dispute: To dispute is to argue or question the validity of the child support action or a claim within the child support action.

Distribution Percentage: A distribution percentage is the method used to determine the amount of the payment each case receives from support payments made by an obligor who has more than one case. The type of payment received, the payment date, and the active enforcement method determine the amount of the money each case receives. For example, payments collected through income withholding only distribute to cases submitted where income withholding is an active enforcement remedy. The monthly amount due on each case is divided by the total monthly amount the obligor owes on all the cases with the same enforcement action. This calculation determines the distribution percentage, or the percent of the payment each case receives.

Diversionary Work Program: The Diversionary Work Program (DWP) is a four-month program that helps low-income Minnesota families find a job.

Driver's License Suspension: Driver's license suspension (DLS) is an enforcement procedure where the child support agency directs the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to suspend the obligor's driver's license because the obligor owes past due support.

E

Emancipation: For child support, emancipation occurs when a person is no longer legally a child. Before May 18, 1983, a child was a person under age 18, unless the court order stated otherwise. Since May 18, 1983, a child is a person under 18 years of age, or under 20 years of age if still attending secondary school, or a person who is incapable of self-support due to a physical or mental condition, unless a court order states otherwise.

Enforcement: Enforcement is the application of remedies to obtain payment of a support obligation contained in a support order. Examples of remedies include:

• credit bureau reporting

  • • federal criminal prosecution
  • • federal tax refund offset
  • • financial institution data match
  • • income withholding
  • • passport denial
  • • state tax refund offset
  • • student grant holds
  • • suspension of licenses (e.g. driver's, occupational, recreational)
  • Establishing Parentage: Establishing parentage is a process to create a legal relationship between a child and the child's parent when no legal relationship previously existed. Actions to establish a legal relationship between the child and the child's father are informally referred to as paternity actions.

    Establishment: Establishment is a process to obtain a court order that sets the amount of support the obligor must pay. Establishment is also the process of adjudicating paternity.

    Expedited Process: The expedited process describes the judicial process in which certain support proceedings are conducted before child support magistrates. Proceedings to establish, modify, and enforce support, and contest a cost of living adjustments are conducted in the expedited process if the case is a IV-D case. Parentage and contempt proceedings for IV-D cases may also occur in the expedited process at the option of the county. Non IV-D cases and many other issues, including, but not limited to custody, parenting time, the establishment and modification of spousal maintenance are prohibited from occurring in the expedited process.

    F

    Federal Annual Fee: The federal annual fee is a mandatory $25 fee collected by the Child Support Enforcement Division on eligible child support cases which have at least $500 of support collected and disbursed during the federal fiscal year.

    Federal Criminal Prosecution: It is a federal crime to intentionally not pay a past-due child support obligation for a child living in another state. The child support agency may refer a case for Federal Criminal Prosecution against an obligor who is intentionally not paying support for a child in another state. The past due support obligation must be either greater than $5000.00 or must have remained unpaid for more than one year. In order to establish intent, the U.S. Attorney's office must prove that the obligor knew about the obligation, was financially able to meet it at the time it was due, and intentionally did not pay it. Priority is given to cases where (1) there is a pattern of moving from state to state to avoid payment; (2) there is a pattern of deception; (3) there is failure to make support payments after being held in contempt of court; or (4) the failure to make support payments is connected to some other federal offense.

    Federal Employer Identification Number: The Federal Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number assigned to all employers by the Internal Revenue Service. A FEIN is not transferable and a new FEIN must be issued when a business is sold or otherwise transferred. The FEIN is used in numerous transactions, including submitting data to the Child Support Enforcement Division and responding to requests relevant to child support.

    Federal Tax Refund Offset: The federal tax refund offset is an enforcement remedy the child support agency uses to intercept an obligor's federal income tax refund to pay the obligor's support arrears. Also known as Project Intercept (PI).

    Federal Tax Refund Offset Fee: The federal tax refund offset fee is the $25 fee the child support agency charges an obligee when it collects at least $100 through Federal Tax Offset that applies to nonpublic assistance arrears. The fee is charged for each refund, per case, where the refund applied to the case is $100 or more. The agency deducts the fee before sending the payment to the obligee. The obligor receives credit for the full amount collected.

    Fee Cap: The fee cap is the maximum amount of cost recovery fees the Child Support Enforcement Division can charge on a case in a calendar year. The amount is based on the average cost per case in the Minnesota child support program. The Child Support Enforcement Division sets the fee cap annually.

    Financial Affidavit: A financial affidavit is a form all parties are required to serve and file with their pleadings or motion documents for any action for child support. The affidavit must disclose all sources of monthly gross income in order to calculate child support.

    Financial Institution: A financial institution includes a savings association, bank, trust company, credit union, industrial loan and thrift company, or bank and trust company.

    Financial Institution Data Match: Financial institution data match (FIDM) is an enforcement tool that allows the child support agency to match obligors who owe child support arrears with financial assets they own. The account assets may be seized by a levy and applied to the obligor’s child support arrears.

    Full Child Support (IV-D) Services: Services provided by state and county child support agencies for the purpose of processing child support and spousal maintenance if child support is also being collected on the same case. Full services include:

  • • Locating parents
  • • Establishing paternity
  • • Establishing court orders
  • • Reviewing and modifying support orders
  • • Enforcing support orders
  • • Working with other states to enforce support orders
  • • Collecting an processing payment for support orders
  • Sometimes called “IV-D services.”

    G


    Genetic and Blood Testing:
    Genetic and blood testing is the process that compares the characteristics of the genes of the parties to predict the probability, or exclude the possibility, that an alleged father is the biological father of a child.

    Good Cause: Good cause means a public assistance recipient does not have to cooperate with the child support agency because the recipient or child may be in danger of physical or emotional harm if efforts are made either to adjudicate paternity or to establish or enforce support.

    Guardian: A guardian is a person who has the legal authority and duty to care for another person because of the other's age, incapacity, or disability.

    Guardian Ad Litem: A guardian ad litem is a person designated by the court to represent the interests of a minor child or incapacitated adult in a legal action.

    Guidelines: Guidelines is a schedule of basic monthly support amounts based on the income of the parents and the number of joint children.

    H

    Health Care Coverage: Health care coverage means health care benefits provided by a health plan and does not include any form of pubic coverage as Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.

    Health Plan: A health plan is a plan, other than public coverage, that provides health care coverage and is:

    • provided on an individual or group basis,

    • provided by an employer or union,

    • purchased in the private market, or

    • provided through a party's spouse or parent, if the spouse or parent is eligible to carry health care coverage for the joint child.

    Hearing: A hearing is scheduled time in court when a judge or child support magistrate hears the facts of a case in order to make decisions about the case.

    Husband's Non-paternity Statement: A husband's non-paternity statement is a form the mother's husband signs stating he is not the biological father of the child when the mother and biological father of a child have signed a Recognition of Parentage (ROP). The term is also known as a joinder.

    I

    Income Withholding (IW): Income withholding is the deduction of the current basic support, child care support, medical support, or spousal support obligation and arrears from an obligor's wages or other sources of income.

    Income Withholding-Only (Non-IV-D) Services: Child support agencies provide income withholding-only services to record and process child support and maintenance payments that an obligor's employer or payor of funds withholds from the obligor's wages. The child support agency charges the obligor $15 per month for income withholding-only services. The child support agency does not provide any other services or enforcement activities for income withholding-only cases.

    Intake: Intake is the process the county child support agency follows when new applications, referrals, and requests for IV-D and non IV-D services are received.

    IV-D Case: A IV-D Case is a case in which a party has assigned rights to the child support agency because the party is receiving public assistance or has applied for child support full services.

    IV-D Services: Services provided by state and county child support agencies for the purpose of processing child support and spousal maintenance. Full services include locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing court orders, reviewing and modifying support orders, enforcing support orders, working with other states to enforce support orders, and collecting and processing payments for support orders. Also called "Full Child Support Services."

    J

    Joint Child: A joint child is the dependent child who is the child of both parents in the support proceeding. In cases where support is sought from only one parent of a child, a joint child is the child for whom support is sought.

    Judgment: A judgment is a legal debt or obligation resulting from either a court order or an administrative action under the authority granted by Minnesota law.

  • • Docket a judgment - Docketing is the legal process by which a judgment is entered into the public record. Docketing automatically creates a lien on all abstract real property the obligor owns in the county where the judgment is docketed and allows the child support agency to use remedies such as levies and executions to collect the judgment.
  • • Enter a judgment - Entering a judgment means to officially record a judgment on the judgment roll with court administration.
  • • Renew a judgment - Renewing a judgment is the legal process used to restart the statute of limitation on an entered judgment. The statute of limitations on an entered judgment is 10 years.
  • Jurisdiction
    Jurisdiction is the legal authority that a court has over specific person or property and over certain types of cases.

  • • Subject Matter Jurisdiction – The authority of the court to hear a particular type of case.
  • • Personal Jurisdiction – The authority of the court to act against an individual or an individual’s property.
  • L

    Legal Father: A legal father is a man who is recognized by law as the male parent of a child.

    Levy: The actual taking or seizure of property to satisfy a duty or debt.

    Lien: A lien is a legal right or interest that a creditor has in another’s property, until a duty or debt is satisfied. Usually a lien does not result in the actual taking or seizure of property.

    Locate: Locate is the process by which information is gathered on a person for the purpose of establishing paternity and child support, enforcing and modifying a child support obligation, and distributing collections.

    Long Arm Jurisdiction: Long-arm jurisdiction is the basis for authority over a person or entity that is not a resident of the state of Minnesota. With long-arm jurisdiction, the court can extend its authority over an individual who lives outside of the state. There must be some meaningful connection between the person and Minnesota in order for the state to exercise long-arm jurisdiction.

    Lump Sum: A lump sum payment is an amount of money paid as a single payment instead of installment payments.

    M

    Medical Assistance: Medical assistance (MA) is Minnesota’s Medicaid program for low-income families with children, seniors and people with disabilities. MA is not a form of health coverage.

    Medical Support: Medical support is the providing of health care coverage for a joint child by carrying health care coverage for the joint child or by contributing to the cost of health care coverage, public coverage, unreimbursed medical expenses, and uninsured medical expenses of the joint child.

    Medical Support Offset: The collection method used when the parent with primary physical custody is ordered to contribute to the cost of health care coverage. The other parent’s child support or maintenance obligation is reduced by the amount of that contribution.

    Minnesota Child Support Payment Center: The Child Support Payment Center (CSPC) processes support payments in Minnesota. Federal and state laws require the state to establish a central collection unit to collect, process, and distribute payments for all cases where the state or county is a party, child support services are involved, or payments are collected through income withholding. The obligor's participant number should be included with every payment. Payments can be sent to: Minnesota Child Support Payment Center, PO Box 64326, St. Paul, MN 55164-0326. Sending payments to a county child support office will delay the payment. Sending a payment directly to an obligee when the child support agency is handling the case may result in the obligor not getting credit for the payment.

    Minnesota Family Investment Plan: The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is the state’s welfare reform program for low-income families with children. MFIP helps families move to work and focuses on helping families. It includes both cash and food assistance. When most families first apply for cash assistance, they will participate in the Diversionary Work Program (DWP). This is a four month program that helps parents go immediately to work rather than receive welfare.

    Modification: A modification is a court-approved change in terms of an order for maintenance or support because of one of the following conditions:

  • • substantially increased or decreased earnings of a party
  • • substantially increased or decreased need of a party or the child
  • • receipt of public assistance
  • • a change in the cost of living for either party
  • • extraordinary medical expenses of the child
  • • substantial increase or decrease in work-related or education-related child care expenses
  • • emancipation of the child
  • Motion: A motion is a document filed with the court and served on the people involved in the case. A motion asks for an order in favor of the party that is filing the motion.

    N

    National Medical Support Notice: The National Medical Support Notice is a federally-mandated administrative notice issued by the public authority to enforce health care coverage provisions of a support order in cases where the public authority provide support enforcement services.

    New Hire Reporting: Minnesota Statutes require all Minnesota employers to report a new or rehired employee to the Commissioner of Human Services. The law also requires the State and all political subdivisions of the State, when acting in the capacity of an employer, to report the hiring of any person as an independent contractor.

    Noncustodial Parent: The noncustodial parent (NCP) is the parent who does not have primary care of a minor child.

    Non-IV-D Case: A Non-IV-D case is a case for the purpose of processing child support and spousal maintenance or both.

    Non-IV-D Services: Non-IV-D Services are limited services provided by state and county child support agencies for the purpose of processing child support, spousal support, or both. Also called “Income Withholding-Only (Non-IV-D) Services.”

    Non-IV-D Spousal Maintenance: Non IV-D spousal maintenance is a case with only a spousal maintenance provision and the obligation is collected through income withholding by the child support agency.

    Nonjoint Child: A nonjoint child is the legal child of one, but not both, of the parents subject to the legal action being taken. Stepchildren are excluded from this definition.

    Non-obligated Spouse: As used in the Federal and State Tax Refund Offset Programs, a non-obligated spouse is the noncustodial parent’s current (or former) spouse who is not legally required to pay the noncustodial parent’s court-ordered child support or spousal maintenance.

    Nonpublic Assistance (NPA): A support case is nonpublic assistance (NPA) when no child or children on the case are receiving public assistance. NPA arrears are owed to an obligee and not to the state.


    O

    Obligation: An obligation is a legal duty imposed on a parent by the court to provide support.

    Obligee: The obligee is a person to whom payments for maintenance or support are owed.

    Obligor: The obligor is a person obligated to pay maintenance or support. A person who has primary physical custody of a child is presumed not to be an obligor for the purposes of child support. For purposes of ordering medical support, a parent who has primary physical custody of a child may be an obligor subject to a payment agreement.

    Occupational License Suspension: Occupational license suspension (OLS) is an enforcement procedure where the child support agency asks a licensing board to suspend the obligor’s occupational license because the obligor owes past due support.

    Overpayment: An overpayment occurs when an obligor pays more than the court-ordered child support obligation. The overpayment may be the result of an error or a court-ordered retroactive downward modification of support. The child support agency applies overpayments to existing arrears. If the overpayment is greater than the arrears, the child support agency returns the remaining overpayment to the obligor by deducting 20 percent from the obligor’s current monthly support or maintenance obligation until the overpayment is reduced to zero.

    P

    Parental Income for Determining Child Support (PICS): Parental income for determining child support (PICS) is a calculated amount of gross income minus deductions for nonjoint children.

    Parenting Time: Parenting time is the time a parent spends with a child regardless of the custodial designation regarding the child. Parenting time has also been referred to as visitation.

    Participant Number: Each person on a child support case in Minnesota is given a 10 digit participant number. Also is known as a participant ID or Master Client Index (MCI) number.

    Passport Denial: Passport denial is an enforcement procedure where an obligor is denied the ability to renew a passport or get a new passport due to the amount of past due support owed by the obligor.

    Past-due Support: See Arrears/Arrearage

    Paternity: Paternity is the state of being a father. This state exists whether the child is biological or adopted.

    Paternity Escrow: An alleged father may be court-ordered to pay temporary support if genetic tests indicated a likelihood of paternity of 92 percent or greater. The support is held by the agency in an escrow account and is not distributed to the obligee until the child support agency receives a new court order resolving the issue of paternity.

    Payment Adjustment: A payment adjustment is a change to a previously credited support payment. A payment adjustment may result in a recoupment so that money is appropriately paid to the state, county or a party. Payments may be adjusted for the following reasons:

    • Insufficient funds.

    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) adjustments to federal tax offset collections, the IRS may adjust collections for up to six years.

    • Minnesota Department of Revenue adjustments to revenue recapture collections.

    • Minnesota Collection Enterprise adjustments to arrears collections.

    • Retroactive changes in court orders, when the money has already distributed according to the prior order.

    • Retroactive changes to the case structure when money has already distributed according to the previous case arrangement.

    • Direct payments paid to the obligee while the obligee receives public assistance.

    Payment Agreement or Plan: A payment agreement is a document signed by the obligor that states the monthly payment that must be received to avoid a specified enforcement action. For child support purposes, payment agreement and payment plan are the same terms.

    Payor of Funds (POF): A payor of funds (POF) is any person or entity that provides funds to an obligor, including an employer, an independent contractor, payor of workers’ compensation benefits or unemployment insurance benefits, or a financial institution.

    Personal Identification Number (PIN): The personal identification number (PIN) is the number that is used along with a case member’s Participant Number to identify the person to the Minnesota Child Support Online (MCSO) web site. The child support agency sends a notice with a unique PIN to obligees and obligors. Participants are told not to share their PIN with anyone. If they do not know, forgot, or lost their PIN, or if someone stole it, they are told to contact their county child support worker.

    PRISM: The statewide Minnesota Child Support Enforcement Division’s (CSED) computer system Providing Resources to Improve Support in Minnesota.

    Pro Se: Pro se is a Latin term for (him) self. A person who represents him or herself in a lawsuit – that is, without an attorney – appears in the case pro se.

    Project Intercept: See Federal Tax Refund Offset.

    Project Intercept Fee: See the term Federal Tax Refund Offset Fee.

    Public Assistance: Public assistance is a benefit or benefits from a state or federal program. A support case is public assistance when any child on the case receives public assistance. Public assistance arrears are owed to the state, not to the obligee. Public assistance programs include the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC); the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), which is Minnesota's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program; the work first program; Child Care Assistance; Medical Assistance (MA); MinnesotaCare; and IV-E Foster Care services.

    Public Authority: The public authority is the local unit of government, acting on behalf of the State, that is responsible for child support enforcement.

    R

    Recreational License Suspension: Recreational license suspension (RLS) is an enforcement procedure where the child support agency asks the court to suspend the obligor's current hunting or fishing license or to prevent receipt of any future hunting or fishing license because the obligor owes past due support. Licenses eligible for suspension include deer, bear, moose, elk, small game, pheasant, turkey, fish, as well as trout salmon and migratory waterfowl stamps.

    Recognition of Parentage: A Recognition of Parentage is a document parents who are unmarried at the time of their child's birth may sign under oath to acknowledge that they are the biological parents of the child. The Recognition of Parentage must be filed with the Registrar of Vital Statistics to be effective.

    Redirected Funds: Redirected funds are money the child support agency deducts from a child support payment made by the obligor to pay obligations that are owed by the obligee. These obligations could include federal tax refund offset fees, cost recovery fees, federal annual fees, and overpayments. The agency deducts these funds before the payment is sent to the obligee. The obligor receives credit for the amount collected before the deduction.

    Redirecting Support: Redirecting support means that when a child is not living with the obligee named in the court order, the child support may be temporarily paid to a caregiver other than the obligee. Under Minnesota law, support may be redirected from the obligee to a different caregiver administratively in certain situations. If administrative redirection is not permitted, support may be redirected by a court order.

    ReliaCard®Visa® Account: The ReliaCard®Visa® account is a type of debit card that child support recipients can use at automatic teller machines (ATMs) and businesses that accept Visa. The ReliaCard Visa Account can only receive payments only from the Child Support Enforcement Division.

    Review and Adjustment: Review and adjustment is the process in which information is obtained from both parties in a child support case and evaluated to determine if the support order needs to be adjusted for changes in the:

  • • Basic support amount
  • • Child care contribution
  • • Medical support.
  • Revenue Recapture: See State Tax Refund Offset.

    Revocation: A revocation is undoing a Recognition of Parentage or a Husband’s Non-paternity Statement within 60 days of it being signed; can be signed on a revocation form or on a piece of paper.

    S

    Satisfaction of Judgment: A satisfaction of judgment is a legal document stating that the full amount due on a judgment has been paid in full. A document stating that a portion of the judgment has been paid is a partial satisfaction and indicates that part of the debt is still owed. A filed partial satisfaction of judgment authorizes the court to amend the docket to reflect the amount paid and the amount that remains due from the person who owes the judgment.

    Secondary School: For child support, a secondary school is an accredited school or education program that provides instruction or training towards a high school diploma or an equivalent degree such as a General Educational Development (GED).

    Self-employment Income: Self-employment income includes income from the operation of a business and joint ownership of a partnership or closely-held business. Income means gross receipts, minus cost of goods sold, minus necessary business expenses required for self-employment or business operation. It does not include accelerated depreciation, investment tax credits, or other business expenses that are inappropriate or excessive. Business expenses that are allowable by the Internal Revenue Service are not necessarily business expenses for child support purposes.

    Service of Process: Service of process is the delivery of legal documents to a person named in a legal action to get jurisdiction over that person. Service methods may be completed by one of the following methods:

    • Acknowledgement - An acknowledgement is a form that a person signs stating that they have been served with specific documents.

    • First Class Mail - Service by first class mail means that the documents to be served were mailed to a person by first class mail to that person's last known address.

    • Service by Facsimile - Service by facsimile (fax) means that the documents are sent electronically, by fax to a person to be served.

    • Personal Service - Personal service means that the documents to be served were handed to a person by another person, professional process server, or law enforcement official. The documents can be left at the person's home with a person who lives there and is of suitable age.

    • Publication - Service by publication means printing the summons in a regular issue of a qualified newspaper for the length of time set by law. Only the court may authorize service by publication.

    • NOTE: Some of the service methods may not be appropriate for all actions.

    Settlement Conference: A settlement conference is a scheduled meeting held before a scheduled court hearing to determine if an agreement can be reached between the people involved in a support case and the child support agency.

    Six-Month Review: A six-month review is a hearing held six months after a initial establishment of child custody, parenting time or child support. At the hearing the court reviews if the parties are complying with the child support and parenting time provisions of the order.

    Spousal Maintenance: Spousal maintenance refers to a court-ordered amount one party pays for the support and maintenance of a current or former marriage partner.

    State Collection: State collection is an amount paid to the State to reduce an obligee's support overpayment. A support overpayment may have occurred as a result of an IRS adjustment; direct payments not reported timely; a retroactive court order adjustment; or some other reason.

    State Registrar: The State Registrar is the title of the person who certifies records and oversees the Office of Vital Records within the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that keeps original birth records, Recognitions of Parentage (ROP), revocations, and other forms on file.

    State Tax Refund Offset: The state tax refund offset is an enforcement remedy the child support agency uses to intercept an obligor's state income tax refund, lottery winnings over $600, political contribution refund, property tax refund, or renter's credit refund to pay the obligor's support arrears. Also known as Revenue Recapture (RR).

    State Tax Refund Offset Fee: The state tax refund offset fee is the $15.00 fee the Department of Revenue charges a noncustodial parent whose state tax refund is offset to pay child support arrears. The Department of Revenue automatically deducts this fee before sending the refund to the child support agency. The Department of Revenue sends a notice to the noncustodial parent when it sends the funds to the child support agency.

    Stay: Stay means to stop or delay the effect of a legal action.

    Stored Value Card: See ReliaCard® Visa® Account.

    Student Grant Hold: Student grant hold is an enforcement procedure where the child support agency directs the Minnesota Higher Servicing Office (MEHSO) to deny student grant funds to the obligor because the obligor owes past due support.

    Support: Support includes basic support, child care support, spousal maintenance when combined with child support; medical support, including expenses for confinement and pregnancy; arrearages; reimbursement; related costs; fees; interest; and penalties.

    Support Order: A court-ordered obligation for the benefit of the obligor’s child(ren), spouse, or former spouse who lives with the child. A support order may include child support, medical support, or child care support. A court order may also include spousal maintenance.

    T

    TANF: Temorary Assistance to Needy Families. See Public Assistance.

    Termination of Parental Rights: Termination of parental rights means that the legal relationship between a child and the child's biological or adoptive parents stops. The parent whose parental rights have been terminated has no ongoing rights, privileges, duties, or obligations to the child. However, if support arrears are owed for the time period before the parental rights were terminated, the parent whose parental rights were terminated may be required to pay the arrears in full.

    Tribunal: A court or administrative agency that has the authority to establish, enforce, or modify support orders.

    Tribal TANF: See Public Assistance.

    Type of Payment: The type of payment identifies the enforcement method used to collect support payments. Enforcement methods included income withholding, federal tax intercept, state tax intercept, arrears collections, and others.

    U

    Uninsured Medical Expenses: Uninsured medical expenses are reasonable and necessary health-related expenses incurred while the joint child is not covered by a health plan or public coverage.

    Unreimbursed Medical Expenses: Unreimbursed medical expenses are reasonable and necessary health-related expenses not covered by the joint child's health plan, such as deductibles, co-payments, orthodontia, prescription eyeglasses, and contacts. Unreimbursed medical expenses do not include the cost of premiums or over-the-counter medications.

    W

    Writ of Execution: A Writ of Execution is a document that gives authority to a sheriff to seize the obligor's property in order to collect the amount owed on the judgment. It lists the details of the judgment, such as the amount of the judgment, and the interest that has accrued on the judgment. A Writ of Execution expires 180 days after the court issues it.


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