The process of setting San Jose child support payments can be confusing at times. Here’s a list of some unfamiliar terms you might encounter during your divorce.
- Arrearage: Overdue child support that a noncustodial parent has failed to pay is called arrears. The term arrearage refers to the overdue amount plus the interest that is charged on the debt. Having arrearage subjects a parent to penalties such as the loss of his or her driver’s license, passport, and/or professional licenses.
- California State Department of Child Support Services — also called DCSS: This is the office that oversees the state’s child support program.
- Compromise of Arrears Program: A program by which the government accepts a partial payment of past due child support in exchange for forgiving some of the debt that is owed. Not all parents will qualify for this program.
- CP: An abbreviation for custodial party. This is the person who is physically responsible for the child the majority of the time. The CP is normally the one who receives child support payments.
- Income Withholding: If a parent paying child support works for someone else, the employer will automatically deduct payments from his or her earnings to satisfy the court-ordered child support obligation. This ensures that the debt is paid in a timely fashion.
- LCSA: An abbreviation for local child support agency. This is the county or regional office providing child support services to parents. The LCSA is part of the California State Department of Child Support Services.
- Medical Support Order: If the child has medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance, a medical support order can be issued to require the noncustodial parent to assist with these costs.
- Modification: An adjustment of the original child support order due to a change in circumstances. A decrease in payments might be ordered due to the paying parent’s unemployment. An increase in payments might be ordered if the paying parent’s income has significantly increased or there are added expenses associated with the child’s basic needs, such as a rise in daycare costs or school tuition. Modifications are not done automatically. They must be initiated by one of the child’s parents.
- NCP: An abbreviation for noncustodial party. This is typically the parent who has visitation rights for the dependent child and is paying child support to the custodial parent.
Do not be afraid to ask your San Jose child support attorney questions if you encounter unfamiliar terms in the mailings you receive regarding your support payments or if you have questions about how the law applies to your specific case. Being an active participant in the process is the best way to ensure that the interests of both you and your child are protected.