1.3 - Definitions

Federal Authority:


State Authority:


Policy Number: 1.3

Effective Date:  October 1, 2010


The definitions used within the Wyoming CSE Program are listed below.


Abatement – A temporary reduction in the monthly child support amount based upon a non-custodial parent’s visitation of 15 or more consecutive days.

Accessible – The health care insurance plan is available and provides coverage for the child residing within the geographic area covered by the insurance plan.

Account - Demand deposit account, checking account, negotiable withdrawal order account, savings account, time deposit account, or money-market mutual fund.

Accrual - Sum of child support payments that are due or overdue.

Acknowledged Father – Man who has established a father-child relationship through the paternity acknowledgement process.

Acknowledgment – See paternity acknowledgment.

Act - The federal Social Security Act including 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.

Adjudicate – The entry of a judgment, decree, or order by a judge or other decision-maker such as a master, referee, or hearing officer based on the evidence submitted by the parties.

Adjudicated Father – Man who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the father of a child.

Administrative Records Review - Review by the Wyoming CSE Program of the records concerning the obligations and payments of an obligor to determine current arrearages, if any.

Affidavit - A written statement signed under oath or by affirmation, which is usually notarized.

Affidavit of Redirection – A written statement signed under oath to change the payee of a child support order.

Age of Majority – The age at which a person acquires the status of adult.  In Wyoming, the age is 18 years.

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) - Former entitlement program that made public assistance payments on behalf of children who did not have the financial support of one of their parents by reason of death, disability, or continued absence from the home; known in many States as ADC (Aid to Dependent Children).  Replaced with Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).  See POWER.

Alleged Father – A person who has been named as the father of a child born out of wedlock, but who has not been legally determined to be the father; also referred to as putative father.

Amend – To change or alter.

Application - A written request for Title IV-D services.

Arrearage - Past due child support, past due medical support, past due spousal support, attorney fees, guardian ad litem fees, costs, interest and penalties, but does not include property settlements.

Asset – Real or personal property of an individual subject to payment of debt.

Assignment – As a condition of eligibility for Personal Opportunity With Employment Responsibility (POWER), an applicant shall sign a statement transferring the applicant’s rights to receive child or medical support and/or spousal support payments on behalf of dependent child(ren) to the State.

Attach - To take or seize property in order to bring the property under the control of a court or tribunal.

Attorney for the Child - A licensed lawyer who has entered into an attorney-client relationship with either the child or the child’s resident parent to provide legal representation to the child or resident parent related to the establishment of paternity, or the establishment, modification, or enforcement of child support.  An attorney-client relationship imposes an ethical and fiduciary duty upon the attorney to represent the client’s best interests under applicable rules of professional responsibility.

Bankruptcy - The procedure by which a person is relieved of certain debts once the person has placed all of his/her property and money in the bankruptcy court’s care. The individual who files for bankruptcy will receive “protection” from his/her creditors. When an NCP files bankruptcy, the filing will affect the ability of the Wyoming CSE Program to enforce the obligation but does not relieve the obligation. There are several types of bankruptcy claims which can have different effects on the support obligation.

Bench Warrant - Document issued by a judge to law enforcement which permits a law enforcement officer to arrest a person.

Benefit Specialist – An employee of DFS who determines eligibility of the POWER performance payment and other public assistance.

Best Interests of the Child - Taking actions that would benefit the child and avoiding actions that might bring financial, physical, psychological, or emotional harm to the child.

Biological Father - The man who provided the paternal genes of a child. The biological father is sometimes referred to as the natural father.

Born Out of Wedlock – A child born to an unwed mother.

Buccal Swab - Method of tissue sample collection that involves gathering cells from the cheek on the inside of the mouth. The sample is used to identify DNA characteristics, which provides evidence to determine paternity.

Caretaker Relative - A parent, relative, or guardian who has physical custody of a child.  When making a good cause determination, a caretaker relative is defined as:

Case Closure – The process used when a IV-D case meets federal case closure criteria and the case is closed.  Once a case is closed, all locate, establishment, and enforcement actions stop.

Case Law - Law established by the history of judicial decisions in cases.

Case Member - Participant in child support case; a member can participate in more than one case.

Case ID - Unique identification number assigned to a POSSE case.

Case Worker - The child support district office worker assigned to handle and manage a child support case.

Cash Medical – Any child support order calculated pursuant to the Wyoming child support guidelines, or an amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of health care coverage provided by another parent through the parent’s employer or otherwise, or for other medical costs not covered by insurance.

Chain of Custody – Tracking and control of evidence.  In the genetic testing process, the tissue or blood sample shall remain intact and secure from the time the sample is collected until received by the laboratory.

Central Authority - The agency designated by a government to facilitate support enforcement with a foreign reciprocating country (FRC) pursuant to section 459A of the Act.

Central Registry - A centralized unit maintained by every State IV-D agency responsible for receiving, distributing, and responding to inquiries on all incoming intergovernmental IV-D cases.  Wyoming’s central registry is at the State CSP Office.

Child Support - Financial resources contributed by non-custodial parents to provide the necessities of living (food, shelter, clothing, medical support) to their children.

Child Support Attorney - An attorney contracted with or employed by DFS to provide services under Title IV-D of the Act.  Child Support Attorneys are also appointed as Special Attorneys General.

Child Support Program  (CSP) - CSP is the Title IV-D agency for the State of Wyoming.  CSP is a division of the Department of Family Services.

Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) – A federal computer system designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of intergovernmental cases by linking each state’s intergovernmental computer system. 

Child Support Order - A legal document requiring a party to pay support for a child(ren) filed with the Clerk of the District Court.

Clerk of District Court - The office in each county that files legal documents and is responsible for receipt and disbursement of child and/or medical support payments.  Clerks of the district court are the official record keepers of support payments that are made and disbursed.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – Rules adopted by the federal government to guide states in implementing federal statutes and federally mandated programs.

Conditionally Assigned Arrears – The balance from the temporarily assigned arrears that does not exceed URPA when the family goes off assistance where a temporary assignment was in effect.

Confidentiality – The limitation of the use and disclosure of case file information based upon federal and state law.

Consumer Reporting Agency - A person or company regularly engaging, in whole or in part, in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information about consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties and uses any means or facility of intergovernmental commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

 Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) - Federal law that limits the amount that may be withheld from earnings to satisfy child support obligations. States are allowed to set their own limits provided they do not exceed the Federal limits. Regardless of the number or withholding orders that have been served, the maximum that may be withheld for child support is:

Without arrearage

    50% with a second family

    60% Single

With Arrearage

    55% with a second family and 12+ weeks in arrears

    65% Single 12+ weeks in arrears.

Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction (CEJ) - A tribunal of a state retains sole authority to modify a support order issued by that tribunal as long as:  (a) One (1) of the parties of the order maintains residency in that state, or (b) Until all of the parties of the order have filed a written consent with the tribunal that issued the order to allow another state to modify the order and assume continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the order.  CEJ applies in states that have adopted UIFSA and is the basis for the one-state intergovernmental process.

Controlling Order - The order that the Wyoming CSE Program considers the one order used for purposes of enforcement and modification of the child support obligation.  It remains in effect whether or not the parties remain in the state until another controlling order is determined. 

Cooperation - As a condition of POWER eligibility and some types of Medicaid, the recipient is required to cooperate with the child support enforcement agency in identifying and locating the non-custodial parent, establishing paternity, and/or obtaining child support payments.

Controlling order state – The state in which the only order was issued or, where multiple orders exist, the state in which the order determined by a tribunal to control prospective current support pursuant to the UIFSA was issued.

Cost Recovery – A process by which states assess charges to the custodial parent or non-custodial parent to recoup funds expended on services.

Court Order - A legally binding edict issued by a court of law and issued by a magistrate, judge, or properly empowered administrative officer. A court order related to child support can dictate how often, how much, what kind of support a non-custodial parent is to pay, how long he or she is to pay it, and whether an employer shall withhold support from their wages.

Credit Bureau - An entity that keeps records on the credit used by persons and on the financial reliability of those persons.

Creditor – One to whom a debt is owed.

Custodial Parent (CP) - A natural or adoptive parent or other person who has physical custody of a child.

Customer – Individuals or entities that receive services from, or interact with the child support division in the normal course of business.

Debtor - A person who owes money to another person or to an entity.

Default – The failure of a defendant to file an answer or response or appear in a civil case within the required time frame after having been properly served with a summons and complaint.

Default Judgment – A decision made by the court or administrative authority when the defendant fails to respond or appear.

Default Order - A court order entered against the party who failed to perform a legal duty or take care of an obligation.

Defendant (Respondent) – A person against whom a civil or criminal proceeding is started.

Delinquency - Failure, omission or violation of a duty. The term is often used in reference to falling behind on a debt, such as child support.

Department of Family Services (DFS) – An organizational unit of the Executive Branch of Wyoming State Government that administers public assistance, social services, juvenile justice programs, and child support enforcement services. The Department and all its Divisions work together to ensure clients reach self-sufficiency.  The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) is a division of the DFS.

Dependent – Any person who has not reached the age of emancipation or who has not been legally declared emancipated.

Direct Income Withholding – A procedure whereby an income withholding order can be sent directly to the non-custodial parent's employer in another State without the need to use the IV-D Agency or court system in the non-custodial parent’s State.

Disbursement – The paying out of collected child support funds.

Disestablishment of Paternity – A legal reversal of paternity that has been legally established through judicial process, administrative process, or presumption.  A contest or challenge of legal presumption of paternity is not automatically considered disestablishment.

Disposable Income - Income less personal income taxes, social security and Medicare deductions, cost of dependent health care coverage for all dependent children and mandatory pension deductions.

Distribution - The rules covering the priority order for allocating child support collections to the various types of debt within a child support case.

District CSP Office – Wyoming has 9 child support judicial districts and 15 offices within those districts. Every child support district office is either a private or public contractor for the State of Wyoming and provides all child support services except processing payments for child support.

Due Process - The conduct of legal proceedings according to those rules and principles which have been established in our system of law for the enforcement and protection of private rights. It is a safeguard against unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious decisions.

Duty of Support - An obligation to pay child support, including medical support, or child and spousal support, imposed by law, order, decree, or judgment of any court or administrative agency, whether interlocutory or final or whether incidental to an action for divorce, separation, separate maintenance, or otherwise, and includes the duty to pay past due support, judgments for past due support, and a duty to provide medical support.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – The paperless exchange of money between banks.  It can include any type of payment to an individual or other state agency, regardless of the source.

Emancipation – The age or circumstances under which the child becomes a legal adult and is given certain rights as an adult.  Emancipation in Wyoming occurs when a minor is or was married, is an active member of the U.S. military, or receives a declaration of emancipation from a court. See Wyo. Stat. § 14-1-201.

Enforcement - The application of remedies to obtain payment of a child support or medical support obligation contained in a child support order. Examples of remedies include garnishment of wages, federal tax intercept, seizure of assets, liens placed on assets, revocation of licenses (e.g. driver's, business, medical, fishing, etc.) and denial of United States passports.

EPICS – Wyoming’s public assistance computer system also known as Eligibility Payment Information Computer System.

Establishment - The legal process of determining the identity of the father of a child(ren). Also referred to as establishing paternity, and/or establishing a child and/or medical support obligation, or the legal amount of a child support order. 

Ex Parte – One side only; on or from one party only.  

Expedited Process - Processes designed to ensure timeliness of services and to increase the effectiveness of the child support program.

 Family Violence Indicator (FVI) - Family Violence Indicator is used to identify a victim, on POSSE, who is involved in domestic violence or child abuse. When this information is transferred to the Federal Case Registry, the identity of the victim remains anonymous and is not reported to other states as disclosure of such information could be harmful to the victim(s). Information can only be given to other states by judicial process.

Federal Case Registry (FCR) - Federal Case Registry is a nationwide database used to store child support information received from all states. All states report all cases and case information on their child support computer system to the FCR unless family violence is an issue. The information is used to locate addresses, employers, and assets of non-custodial parents, so appropriate action can be taken.

Federal OCSE – The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) – The federal fiscal year beginning October 1st and ending September 30th.  

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) - A unique five (5) digit FIPS code is assigned to represent each county in the country. The first two (2) digits in the code identify the state and the last three (3) digits identify the county. FIPS codes are used in intergovernmental cases to identify the initiating and responding jurisdictions for purposes of federal incentive funding.

Federal Offset Program - The service provided by the Wyoming CSE Program in cooperation with the federal government in which monies due by an obligor (e.g. tax refund) from the federal government are intercepted for payment of overdue support owed.

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) - The Federal Parent Locator Service operated by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to Section 453 of the Social Security Act.

Financial Affidavit – A signed and notarized statement regarding the person’s financial circumstances.  In Wyoming, the form shall be approved by the Supreme Court.

Financial Institution - A bank, savings and loan, thrift, federal or state credit union, benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money-market mutual fund, or similar institution.

Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) – A process whereby information on accounts held by banks, savings & loan companies, brokerage houses, and other financial institutions is matched against those child support obligors who owe arrears (past-due support). 

Foreign Support Order (FSO) - Any order, judgment or decree that is entered by a court or administrative agency outside the State of Wyoming, including orders issued by a tribal court located in Wyoming or located in another state.

Form – A federally-approved document used for the establishment and enforcement of support obligations whether compiled or transmitted in written or electronic format, including but not limited to the Income Withholding for Support form, and the National Medical Support Notice.  In intergovernmental IV-D cases, such forms include those used for child support enforcement proceedings under the UIFSA.  “Form” also includes any federally-mandated IV-D reporting form, where appropriate.

Foster Care – Substitute parental care provided by DFS to children who are unable to remain in their own home, including room, board, supervision and guidance.

Foster Care Maintenance – Money paid by a state to meet the needs of a child in foster care. 

Full Faith and Credit – Doctrine under which a State shall honor an order or judgment entered in another State or tribal court.

Full Faith and Credit Child Support Order Act (FFCCSOA) – Law effective October 20, 1994, which requires States to enforce child support orders made by other States or tribal courts if the issuing State’s tribunal had subject matter jurisdiction to hear and resolve the matter and enter an order; and the issuing State’s tribunal had personal jurisdiction over the parties; and reasonable notice and the opportunity to be heard was given to the parties. FFCCSOA also limits a State’s ability to modify another States’ child support orders to instances when the State tribunal seeking to modify the order has jurisdiction to do so; and, the tribunal that originally issued the order no longer has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the order either because the child and the parties to the case are no longer residents of the issuing State, or the parties to the case have filed written consent to transfer continuing exclusive jurisdiction to be transferred to the tribunal seeking to make the modification. 

Full Services – Comprehensive child support services provided by a IV-D agency that include locate, paternity establishment, establishment of a monetary and medical support order, enforcing the support order, and modifying the support order.

Futures Disbursed – Child support amounts due in the future that are collected and paid out to the custodial parent. 

Garnishment – The procedure by which an obligee reaches tangible or intangible personal property of the obligor in the possession, control or custody of a third party.

Genetic Testing – Analysis of inherited factors (usually by blood or tissue test) of mother, child, and alleged father which can prove or disprove a particular man fathered a particular child.

Good Cause – A legal reason for which a POWER recipient is excused from cooperating with the child support enforcement process. Instances may include cases involving rape, incest, and potential for harm to the custodial parent or child from the non-custodial parent.  Only the Department of Family Services may grant a good cause request.

Grant – The cash amount of the POWER benefit.

Guardian ad Litem (GAL) – A legal representative who is given the responsibility for a child’s well being.

Guidelines - Procedures established by Wyoming statutes to evaluate the incomes and circumstances of both parents responsible for support of a minor child(ren) to determine the amount of a child support obligation.

Health Insurance – Health care coverage which includes fee for service, medical and hospital insurance, membership in health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and a public health policy .

Home State -  The State in which the child(ren) in a case has lived with a parent, or person acting as a parent, for the last 6 consecutive months preceding any action, or if the child(ren) is under 6 months old, the State in which the child(ren) has lived since birth.

Imputed Income – Income assigned to a parent for the purpose of calculating the amount of child support under the Wyoming statutory guidelines, when the actual income is not available. Income can be imputed based on past work history, minimum wage, or earning ability in the available job market.

Incarcerated - A person in a county jail or state correctional facility.

Income - Any form of payment or return in money to an individual, regardless of source. Income includes, but is not limited to, wages, earnings, salary, commission, compensation as an independent contractor, temporary total disability, permanent-partial disability and permanent total disability workers' compensation payments, unemployment compensation, disability, annuity and retirement benefits, and any other payments made by any payor.

Income withholding order - A court or an administrative order requiring a payor, usually an employer, to withhold and remit income due an obligor for payment to the obligee.

Independently Verified Information – Confidential information that is acquired and confirmed through the use of a second source.

Initiating – A term used with the intergovernmental processing of child support matters. When Wyoming requests another state to initiate action on a non-custodial parent residing in the other state, Wyoming becomes the "initiating" state.

Initiating agency – A state or tribal IV-D agency or an agency in a country, as defined in federal rules, in which an individual has applied for or is receiving services.

Injured Spouse – Refers to the current spouse of the non-custodial parent in relation to a joint federal tax intercept.  The injured spouse can apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for his or her pro rata share of the joint federal tax return.

Intact Family – A family in which the mother, father, and child live together.

Intergovernmental – Existing or occurring between two or more governmental jurisdictions that may include any combination of States, Tribes, and countries.

Intergovernmental IV-D Case – A IV-D case in which the noncustodial parent lives and/or works in a different jurisdiction than the custodial parent and child(ren) that has been referred by an initiating agency to a responding agency for services.  An intergovernmental IV-D case may include any combination of referrals between state, tribes, and countries.  An intergovernmental IV-D case also may include cases in which a state agency is seeking only to collect support arrearages, whether owed to the family or assigned to the state.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - A provider of confidential and personally identifiable information.

Intergovernmental IV-D case – A IV-D case in which the noncustodial parent lives and/or works in a different state than the custodial parent and child(ren) that has been referred by an initiating state to a responding state for services.  An intergovernmental IV-D case also may include cases in which a state is seeking only to collect support arrearages, whether owed to the family or assigned to the state.

Intrastate – Between jurisdictions within the boundaries of a single state.

Issuing State – The state in which a determination of paternity, a support order, a modification, or a judgment originated.

IV-A (“Four A”) – Reference to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act covering the Federal-State Public Assistance Program.  See also “POWER” and “TANF.”

IV-D (“Four D”) – Reference to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, which required that each State create a program to locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity, establish and enforce child support obligations, and collect and distribute support payments. All recipients of public assistance (usually TANF/POWER) are referred to their State's IV-D child support program. States shall also accept applications from families who do not receive public assistance, if requested, to assist in collection of child support. Title IV-D also established the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

IV-D Case - A child support case where at least one of the parties, either the custodial party or the non- custodial parent, has requested or receives IV-D services from the State's IV-D agency.  A IV-D case is composed of a custodial party, non-custodial parent or alleged father, and child(ren).

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. The funding for IV-E Foster Care programs is primarily from federal sources.

Judgment – The official decision or finding of a judge upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action; also known as a “decree” or “order” and may include the "findings of fact and conclusions of law."

Jurisdiction – The legal authority which a court or administrative agency has over particular persons or property and over certain types of cases. The jurisdiction may be limited to the county, circuit, district, or state.

Legal Father – A man who is recognized by law as the male parent of another person.

Levy - A legal process of obtaining money through seizure of real or personal property. 

Liability for support- An obligation of support due a child who has been abandoned, neglected, or not adequately supported by any person legally responsible to provide such support, which includes child support, medical support and an ordered obligation to pay spousal support when a child support obligation is contained in the same order.

Lien - A claim or encumbrance upon real or personal property.

License Suspension - The state may suspend a driver's license and/or a commercial driver's license, professional, occupational, and/or recreational license of a person who is in arrears in child support obligation payments as allowed by Wyo. Stat. § 20-6-111 and 112.

Locate - The use of various automated and manual sources by the Wyoming CSE Program to locate addresses, employers and/or assets of a non-custodial parent so appropriate action can be taken. These sources are either at the state level or the federal level.

Long Arm Jurisdiction – Authority that a tribunal in a State has over a person who is not in that State. A tribunal can have this authority if certain circumstances exist in the case. These circumstances are defined in UIFSA.

Maintenance – See spousal support.

Medicaid - Medical assistance to older adults or lower income children and adults under a state plan approved under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) – The computer system used by the Department of Health to manage the Medicaid program.

Medical Child Support Order – A judgment or decree by the court that a party shall provide medical or dental coverage for the child(ren).  Medical support may or may not be ordered in conjunction with child support.

Modification – The act of changing a support order to reflect changes in the financial or other circumstances of either parent.

Motion - An application to the court requesting an order or rule in favor of the party that is filing the motion. Motions are generally made in reference to a pending action and may address a matter in the court’s discretion or concern a point of law.

Multistate Financial Institution Data Match (MSFIDM) - An exchange of data between states' Title IV-D programs and multistate financial institutions to compare account holders and child support obligors owing past due child support. 

National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) – A group formed of attorneys who draft uniform laws to ensure clarity and stability to critical areas of law.  The Wyoming Child Support program uses two uniform laws drafted by NCCUSL on a daily basis – Uniform Intergovernmental Family Support Act (UIFSA) and Uniform Parentage Act (UPA).

National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) – The notice used to enforce the provision of health care coverage for children of parties who are required to provide health care coverage through an employment-related group health plan in accordance with a child support order or pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-401 through 406.

National Directory New Hires (NDNH) – A national database containing New Hire (NH) and Quarterly Wage (QW) data from every State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) and Federal agency and Unemployment Insurance (UI) data from “State Workforce Agencies.”  OCSE maintains the NDNH as part of the expanded FPLS.  (Tribes can choose to obtain access by agreements with a State.)

Non-cooperation – A customer's refusal to assist the Wyoming CSE Program in establishing paternity or in establishing, modifying and enforcing a child support order.

Non-custodial Parent (NCP) - The parent who does not have primary care, custody, or control of the child, and who may have an obligation to pay child support. Also referred to as the obligor. 

 Non-disclosure – A finding that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information. Intergovernmental petitions shall include certain identifying information regarding the parties and child(ren) unless a tribunal makes a non-disclosure finding by ordering that the address or identifying information not be disclosed. 

Non-IV-D - A child support case in which the custodial parent does not receive services from state or local child support agencies because he or she has not filed an application for IV-D services, and the family is not receiving nor has ever received public assistance.

Non-PA - Non-Public Assistance - A child support case in which an individual is receiving Title IV-D services and is not an active recipient of POWER or Title IV-E foster care.

Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) - Banking term used to describe the situation where an individual’s bank account does not contain enough money to pay the check presented to the bank for payment.

Notice to Payor (NTP) - The notice sent to the employer or payor to withhold child support from a payment as provided for in Wyo. Stat. § 20-6-210.

Nunc Pro Tunc – A court order correcting language or clarifying a previous court order.

Obligation - Amount of money to be paid as support by a non-custodial parent. It can take the form of financial support for the child, medical support, or spousal support which shall have an underlying child support order. An obligation is a recurring, ongoing legal responsibility.

Obligee - Any person entitled to receive support under an order for support and includes the agency of this or another jurisdiction to which a person has assigned the right to support.

Obligor - A person owing a duty of support.

Offset – Amount of money intercepted from a parent’s state or federal income tax refund, or from an administrative payment such as federal retirement benefits, in order to satisfy a child support debt.

One-state remedies – The exercise of a state’s jurisdiction over a non-resident parent or direct establishment, enforcement, or other action by a state against a non-resident parent in accordance with the long-arm provision of UIFSA or other state law.

Operation of Law – The automatic creation of a right or liability through the application of a rule of law rather than an agreement or court order.

Order to Show Cause (OSC) – A court order requiring a person to appear in court and explain to the court why the court should not take the proposed action (e.g. contempt).

Overcollect - The amount of a payment in excess of the arrears owed on the obligation when the payment is only allowed to pay arrears, such as an IRS intercept payment.  This amount is refunded to the non-custodial parent.

Overpayment - An amount that is paid by the NCP, and exceeds the amount of current and past due support.

Pass Through Payment - A portion of a child support payment that is passed through to a family that is currently receiving POWER benefits.  The amount passed through is dependent on the number of children receiving benefits.

Past Due Support – The amount of unpaid support owed.  See also “arrearage.”

Paternity – Legal fatherhood.

Paternity Acknowledgment – A declaration or attestation by a man, or both parents, that the man is the father of a child, usually provided in writing on an affidavit or form.

Paternity Establishment - The process of determining legal fatherhood by court order, administrative order, acknowledgment, or other method provided for under State law.

Payee - The person, or entity, that receives money from a person paying child support. Used interchangeably with the custodial parent or the state in TANF cases.

Payor - One who pays or is obligated to make a payment to an obligor.  This often refers to the obligor’s employer.

Permanently Assigned Arrears – Past-due support assigned to Wyoming because the family received AFDC grants prior to October 1, 1997 or support that is due or accrues while the family is receiving POWER grants.

Personal Jurisdiction – Court’s authority over an individual against whom a legal action is being brought.

Personal Opportunities with Employment Responsibilities (POWER) - The State of Wyoming TANF Program.  (See “POWER” below.)

Petition – A formal written request submitted to the court or administrative tribunal for specific action, stating facts and circumstances as a cause for judicial action and containing a formal request for relief.  A petition is usually the first document filed in a court action.

Petitioner – A person or agency that brings an action by filing a petition in a tribunal. As both obligees and obligors can file petitions in intergovernmental cases, the term "petitioner" does not necessarily mean the obligee.

Plaintiff - A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil case.

Pleading - Statement or allegation, presented to the court in legal form, which constitutes a plaintiff's cause of action or defendant's grounds of defense.

POSSE - Parental Obligation System for Support Enforcement is the Wyoming statewide child support system used by all District CSE Offices and Clerks of District Court.

POWER - Personal Opportunities With Employment Responsibilities, the State of Wyoming’s TANF, is the IV-A program offering time limited pay-after-performance benefits to ensure clients reach self-sufficiency.  POWER was formerly known as AFDC or welfare.

Prenatal – Before birth.

Presumed Father – Man who by operation of law (based upon Wyo. Stat. §14-2-504) is recognized as the father of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding.

Prior Period – That period of time during which public assistance was provided to a participant before an order for support is established.

Program Income – All fees which are collected and all interest and other income earned by a Title IV-D child support agency. 

Pro Rata – A proportion or percentage of the total amount.

Pro Se – To appear in court without legal representation.

PRWORA - Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act also known as the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, changed the way public assistance programs are operated and created new federal laws for child support enforcement to collect support so recipients can move toward self-sufficiency.  The TANF program was authorized and funded under PRWORA.

Public Assistance (PA) - The benefits provided by POWER or Title IV-E. 

Putative Father – See Alleged Father.

Quick Locate - An expedited intergovernmental request for limited locate services.

Reasonable Cost – The cost to provide health care coverage or to provide cash medical support for children at no more than 5% of the providing party’s gross income.

Rebuttable Presumption – A legal presumption that can be rebutted by fact.  In a paternity action, a man is the father can be rebutted by a genetic test.

Reciprocity - Generally, a relationship between States or countries whereby favors (recognition) or privileges granted by one are returned by the other.

 Registration – The formal filing process through a tribunal by which an order of one jurisdiction is recognized in another jurisdiction. After registration, an action can be taken in a tribunal of the responding jurisdiction as if the order was issued in that jurisdiction. An order may be registered for enforcement, modification, or both.

Respondent - A person against whom a tribunal action has been brought and who shall respond to that action. Both obligees and obligors can be respondents. A person can be a petitioner in one action in a case, and later be a respondent in another action brought in the same case. The term "respondent" therefore does not mean the same thing as "obligor."

Responding agency – The agency that is providing services in response to a referral from an initiating agency in an intergovernmental IV-D case.

Responding state - A state in which a proceeding is filed or to which a proceeding is forwarded for filing from an initiating state under the Uniform Intergovernmental Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Review - An objective evaluation of information that is necessary for the application of the state's guidelines for support to determine an appropriate support award or the availability of medical support.

Satisfaction of Judgment (SoJ) – A formal acknowledgment by the creditor that a judgment or part of a judgment has been fully satisfied and is no longer due and owing.

Secretary - The Secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Service of Process - The delivery of a writ or summons to the party to whom it is directed for the purpose of obtaining jurisdiction over that party.

SSI benefits - Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Spousal Support - Court ordered support of an ex-spouse. Also referred to as maintenance or alimony.

State - A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, any territory under the jurisdiction of the United States, and includes an Indian nation or tribe.

State Directory of New Hires (SDNH) - A state directory used by the IV-D agency as a data base for new employment and used for the purpose of locate and wage withholding.

State Disbursement Unit (SDU) - The central location operated by the state for receiving, receipting, distributing and disbursing child support payments and the clerk of district court in this state where the obligor is ordered to make payments.

State Fiscal Year (SFY) – The state fiscal year beginning July 1st and ending June 30th.

State Plan - The Title IV-D state plan for the child support enforcement program under Section 454 of the Act.  The State Plan is prepared and maintained by the State CSE Office and sent to the federal OCSE for approval.

Statute of Limitation (SOL) – The period of time allowed by law to file or enforce a legal action.

Stipulation – A signed agreement between the parties to a legal proceeding.  In Wyoming, a stipulation shall be approved by a judge to be enforceable.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction – The authority of a particular court to hear the type of case before it.

Subpoena – An order requiring an individual to appear at a court or administrative hearing to testify or to provide evidence in a case.

Summons – A legal document used to begin a court proceeding.  It is a means of acquiring jurisdiction over a party and to “summon” the party into court.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Federal nutrition assistance program, formerly known as “food stamps”.

Support Order - Any order entered by a court or administrative agency of this or another state which orders support of a child or a child and a spouse, including medical support.

Suspend Support – Temporarily stop child support.

Temporarily Assigned Arrears – Past-due support that was assigned because the family received POWER between October 1, 1997 and September 30, 2009.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – The Title IV-A program which replaced AFDC.  See POWER.

Terminate Support – End a child support obligation.

Third Party Liability (TPL) - A public assistance recipient may have medical insurance in addition to the medical coverage provided by Medicaid or medical support. The medical insurance provider is financially responsible for the coverage and is billed by Third Party Liability for medical expenses incurred by the recipient. Medicaid pays the difference between the amount of the medical bill and the amount the insurance company has paid.

Tribunal – The court, administrative agency, or other entity authorized to establish or modify support orders or to determine parentage.  In Wyoming, our tribunals are the District Courts and the Tribal Court.

Uniform Intergovernmental Family Support Act (UIFSA) – The model act promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and mandated by section 466(f) of the Act to be in effect in all States. See (Wyo. Stat. §§ 20-4-139 through 194).

Unreimbursed Public Assistance (URPA) – Money paid in the form of public assistance (e.g. TANF, AFDC, or POWER) which has not yet been recovered from the non-custodial parent.

Venue – The particular location (usually a county) where an order was entered.

Vital Records – A division of the Department of Health which keeps and manages records and data relating to birth, death, marriage and divorce.

Wage Withholding – A procedure by which automatic deductions are made from wages or income to pay a debt such as child support.

Warrant – A check issued by the SDU.

Cross Reference

1.B - A Guide to Wyoming's Child Support Enforcement

Version Number:  5

Last Revision:  March 13, 2023

Last Reviewed:  March 21, 2023