Terms & Definitions

ADMINISTRATIVE FEES - Service fee set by state law to cover the cost of posting and disbursing payments, updating and maintaining the case


ARREARS - Past due, unpaid child and/or spousal support owed by the obligor

AUDIT - A computation of the actual balance of your support order.  This is done by determining what should have been paid on all child support orders, and then comparing that with what actually was paid by the obligor according to the records of the CSEA.

CARETAKER - A person other than the biological parents who has assumed legal custody of the children through the court system.


CURRENT CHILD SUPPORT - The amount of money ordered by the Court or administrative process owed by the obligor for the support of the child(ren).  This is a monthly obligation.


CSEA - Child Support Enforcement Agency.  GCCSEA is the Gallia County Child Support Enforcement Agency.


CUSTODY ORDER - A court issued legally binding document that establishes with whom the child(ren) will reside.  It can only be changed through a private petition of the Court.


DEFAULT - When a child support and/or spousal support obligation has fallen behind in the payment schedule equal to one month’s total support obligation.


EMANCIPATION - Termination of the current support order, usually due to the child reaching age of majority (18 years old) and graduating from high school, or the child is 19 years old, whichever is later.  A child may also be emancipated due to marriage, entering the military, or by court order.


INCOME WITHHOLDING - A garnishment order sent by the CSEA to an income source of an obligor (See Income Withholding Information sheet) INVESTIGATOR - Case Managers in every area of Child Support.  Your case is assigned to an enforcement investigator for case maintenance.


OBLIGEE - Any person to whom child support and/or spousal support is owed.  Also known as the Payee, Residential Parent or Custodial Parent


OBLIGOR - Any person ordered to pay child support and/or spousal support.  Also known as the Payer, Non-Residential Parent or Non-Custodial Parent


ORDER/SUPPORT ORDER - A document specifying any support obligations, including medical coverage.  Also known as a JOURNAL ENTRY.


PATERNITY - Legal determination of fatherhood.  May be done through genetic testing, voluntary acknowledgement, or through the courts.  Paternity must be established before child support or medical support can be ordered.


SETS - Support Enforcement Tracking System.  Every case is assigned a ten digit case number in the state of Ohio SETS computer system.  Use this number when inquiring about your case.


TOTAL SUPPORT OBLIGATION - Total of the monthly child support and/or spousal obligations, including payment on arrears and processing fees. For additional terms and definitions, see the Office of Child Support website 'Glossary'.