Child Support Terms

Administrative Processing Fee

A fee paid by the Non-Custodial Party to cover the CSEA’s cost of processing the payments. This fee is in addition to the amount ordered for support and is generally 2% of that amount (formally known as ‘poundage’).


The amount of child support that is past due when payments are not made in compliance with the support order.

Case Stratification

Case stratification is a caseload model that separates the cases by the type of case and payment frequency. A case may move from one caseload to another if the payment frequency changes.


Child Support Enforcement Agency

Custodial Parent/Party

The person who receives child support (also known as the Obligee or the Payee)


Generally, a child who is 18 years old and has graduated from high school is considered emancipated. A child may be considered emancipated on the 19th birthday if still attending high school. Support could continue past 19 if the Court determines a child is disabled.

Genetic Testing

A process using DNA samples to determine paternity.

Good Cause

A customer can request ‘Good Cause’ in cases where it would not be in the family’s best interest to pursue child support. If Good Cause is granted the requirement to cooperate in establishing or collecting child support is waived.

Income Witholding

A process where support comes directly from the Non-Custodial Party’s pay or bank account.

Injured Spouse Form

A tax form that can be obtained from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or ODT (Ohio Department of Taxation) by the Non-Custodial Party’s working spouse to get their portion of a tax refund returned to them and not applied to the arrearages on the Non-Custodial Party's case.

Intergovernmental Cases

Cases that involve more than one state, tribunal or country. One or both parties may reside in another state or country or the order may be in another state or country. Careful planning and cooperation between the states involved is imperative in order to achieve successful case management. Federal rules and regulations determine how Intergovernmental cases are to be managed. (also known as UIFSA cases and Interstate cases)

IRS Offset

A process that enables the CSEA to collect delinquent support by redirecting all or part of the Non-Custodial Party’s federal tax refund to the CSEA (on IV-D cases only).


CSEA’s are sometimes referred to as IV-D agencies (pronounced 4 –D). This term comes from Title IV-D of the Social Security Act of 1975, which set up the nation’s current child support system. Customers are required to fill out and sign a IV-D Application for services.

Location Services

The services provided in an attempt to locate a child support participant if their address is unknown.

Non-Custodial Parent/Party

The person who has been ordered by the Court to pay support or provide medical coverage (also known as the Obligor, the Payor or the Absent Parent).

Ohio Tax Offset

A process that enables CSEA to collect delinquent support by redirecting all or part of the Non-Custodial Party’s Ohio state tax refund to the CSEA (on IV-D cases only).

Review & Adjustment

The process of reviewing and changing the support order, in accordance with state guidelines, to more accurately reflect the financial circumstances of both parties (also known as a Modification).


(SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT TRACKING SYSTEM) The statewide child support computer system in Ohio. All child support cases are entered and monitored on SETS.