Glossary of Child Support Terms

Administrative Hearing:   A hearing conducted at the Trumbull County CSEA by an Administrative Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will review the case before him or her and issue an independent decision regarding the same. Administrative Hearings may be conducted regarding paternity, child support, medical insurance, modification of support, and mistake of fact hearings.

Administrative Review of An Existing Child Support Order:  A review conducted by the CSEA to determine if a modification in a child support order is warranted. Parties have the right to an Administrative Hearing if they disagree with the results of the review. If a party still disagrees, that party may request a judicial hearing.

Criminal non-support:  An absent parent who willfully fails to pay support ordered by the CSEA or a Court may be charged with criminal nonsupport. These cases are handled by the Prosecuting Attorney and must meet certain criteria to be considered for prosecution.

Custody:  A legal determination, either by statute or Court order, as to what individual has legal control over the child. Ohio law since 1998 presumes that an unmarried mother is the legal custodian of the child absent any order to the contrary but this may be contested by the parents. The CSEA does not involve itself with custody issues.

Default:  Condition of a child support account in which the obligor has failed to make full monthly payments in a timely fashion.

Delinquent Support:  A support account that is in arrears, i.e., in which the records of the CSEA reflect that the amount actually paid is less than the amount actually owed. If an account is one month or more in arrears, the CSEA may take action regarding the same.

Emanicipation:  The act of removing a child from a support order because that child has become an adult and no longer a full time high school student, or has married, or joined armed services, or due to such other action or order as outlined by statute.

Enforcement:  Efforts taken to see that a support and/or health insurance order are paid or fulfilled.

Financial Institution Withholding:  Procedure by which funds may be withdrawn on a regular basis from a bank or financial institution set up by the absent parent; the withdraw is made via an administrative or judicial order to the bank or institution.

Genetic Tests:  Analysis of blood, tissue, and.or DNA of the mother, child and alleged father(s) to prove or disprove paternity. Trumbull County CSEA generally used buccal swab method of collecting samples. The buccal swab, which obtains samples from the inner cheek of the parties, is painless, quick, and reliable.

Income Withholding:  Procedure by which the payer of an obligor deducts support pursuant to an order from the CSEA or Court.

Lien:  Legal claim upon property to prevent sale or transfer until debt is satisfied.

Mistake of Fact Hearing:  An administartive hearing available to the parties if they disagree with certain decisions and/or recommendations of the CSEA including emancipation and notices of default.

Obligee (Residential Parent):  The party entitled to receive child support payments.

Obligor (Non-residential Parent):  The party ordered to pay child support.

Paternity Establishment:  The administrative or judicial establishment of a party as the biological father of a child.

Processing Charge:  An amount of 2% which the CSEA is required to charge on every dollar it collects or is required to collect. This is to compensate the CSEA for the cost of processing the monies it collects. It was formerly called Poundage.

Support Order:  An order, administrative or judicial, for the obligor to pay the obligee for the care and support of the child/children at issue.