This statewide computer system tracks CSS participant and case activities, stores participant and case information, and performs automated activities to assist CSS caseworkers. ACTS receives data from and shares data with more than thirty (30) state, federal, and private agencies. This system helps to locate more noncustodial parents, establish more child support orders, and collect more child support.
This document is used in the establishment of paternity for a child who was born out of wedlock. The mother and alleged father sign this document to acknowledge that they are the parents of the child(ren) in question. It can be signed in the hospital at the time of birth or at other locations.
A man who has been named as the father of a child born out of wedlock, but has not been established as the legal father. Sometimes referred to as the “putative father”. If paternity testing confirms that he is the biological father of the child, the alleged father is re-designated as the noncustodial parent in the case.
This agency is responsible for the activities of the courts and local Clerks of Court.
See Noncustodial parent (NCP).
When a noncustodial parent has not paid all or part of the child support obligation that the court has ordered him/her to pay, he/she is considered to be “in arrears”. The unpaid amount accrues as an “arrearage”. Arrearages are considered to be unadjudicated until the court confirms the owed amount; then that amount is considered an adjudicated arrearage.
Custodial parents who are receiving Public Assistance are required to sign this document, which assigns their right to receive child support to the Department of Social Services (DSS).
This is the amount of money used to meet basic subsistence needs of food, clothing, shelter, medical, transportation, and educational needs of a child, not extraordinary expenses. It is determined based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. This amount is calculated based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children being counted. (The guidelines count only the children for whom support is sought, not all of the children that the parents might be supporting.)
An individual who is assigned responsibility for a number of CSS cases. See responsible worker.
The collection of child support obligations is a core service that is provided by the CSS agency.
A written document filed in court to initiate a legal action.
The willful disregard of a court order.
This nationwide communications network links individual state CSS systems together and allows states to exchange formation regarding paternity, location, establishment, collection, and enforcement activities.
The person with physical custody or with whom the child lives; this can be a parent, a relative, or someone else.
The condition when the noncustodial parent is behind in his/her child support payments.
This agency administers social programs for the State of North Carolina; it was previously known as the Department of Human Resources (DHR).
Child support payments that are obtained directly from the noncustodial parent’s wages.
The amount of the noncustodial parent’s income that remains after deductions for federal, state and local taxes, Social Security, and involuntary retirement contributions.
The agency within DHHS that is responsible for the administration of the state medical assistance program.
An extended factor genetic test that assists in determining the paternity of a child born out of wedlock. See Paternity testing.
The Division of Social Services (DSS) was designated by N.C. DHHS to be responsible for the CSS program. County departments of social services (also referred to as DSS) administer Public Assistance programs. Some counties have placed their CSS programs under the authority of county DSS.
This is the movement of funds between financial accounts through electronic means rather than paper documents or hard currency. CSS can enter into agreements with employers and other agencies to transfer funds electronically. With prior approval, CSS can use EFT to make direct deposits to the bank account of child support recipients and automatic bank drafts from the bank accounts of child support payors.
This system maintains all of the data that is related to a household's eligibility for Public Assistance. EIS shares this data with CSS through the EIS/ACTS interface.
The enforcement of child support orders is a core service that is provided by CSS. A variety of remedies are used to enforce compliance with the order.
The establishment of child support orders is a core service that is provided by CSS. Caseworkers seek to obtain a court order that requires the noncustodial parent to provide financial support for his/her child(ren).
Foster Care provides financial assistance for the care of children whose families cannot take care of them adequately. North Carolina pays for this care through two programs: N.C. Foster Care (IV-E) and State Foster Home Fund (SFHF).
See Paternity testing.
A valid reason for failing to cooperate with CSS’s efforts to pursue child support payments from a noncustodial parent. A request to claim good cause is made to the Public Assistance worker. If it is granted, CSS must decide whether to pursue support without assistance of the custodian or close the case.
A standard method for setting child support obligations based on the income of the parent(s) and other factors as determined by state laws.
A CSS case in which the involved parties reside in different states AND a request for assistance is forwarded to the other state's child support agency.
"IV-A" refers to Title IV-A of the Social Security Act. It is the federal law that provides for the TANF program.
"IV-D" refers to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. It is the federal law that provides for the CSS program.
"IV-E" refers to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. It is the federal law that provides partial funding for N.C. Foster Care cases.
A claim upon property to prevent its sale or transfer until a debt is satisfied.
Means to obtain a paternity or support order by serving an individual in another state when this state has jurisdiction.
County departments of social services (DSS) provide this medical assistance program to households that meet its eligibility requirements. The Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) supervised this program.
The legal provision for an obligation to provide health insurance coverage for a child.
Court papers served on the noncustodial parent requiring an appearance in court before a judge to show why he/she should not be held in contempt for failure to make court ordered child support payments.
ACTS assigns a unique MPI number to identify each participant in the CSS computer system. This number also serves as financial account number for that participant.
NCCSCC (North Carolina Child Support Centralized Collections) –
The NCCSCC operation processes child support payments for deposit into the State Treasurer's bank account and transmits payment information daily into the ACTS system. ACTS then distributes and disburses checks to child support recipients.
Failure of a Public Assistance (PA) custodial parent to cooperate with the CSS agency in the establishment of paternity and/or support. Noncooperation could result in a reduction of the custodial parent’s PA grant.
The parent who does not have primary custody of a child but who is responsible for paying financial support.
The amount that the responsible parent is to pay as support and the manner in which it is to be paid.
The “obligee” is the person who is owed child support. See payee .
The “obligor” is the person who owes child support. See payor.
The federal office that regulates child support services programs in the states. Visit this link for more information about the Federal Child Support Enforcement Program.
Establishing the paternity of child who are born out of wedlock is a core service that is provided by CSS. CSS determines who the father of the child is, either through voluntary acknowledgment or paternity (genetic) testing.
The procedure for obtaining scientific evidence to aid in establishing a child's parentage. CSS agencies use extended factor genetic tests, such as human leukocyte antigens (HLA) or DNA tests to assist in determining paternity.
The “payee” is the recipient of a child support payment. See obligee.
The “payor” is the person who is responsible for providing a child support payment. See obligor.
Past Paid Public Assistance (PPPA) is the sum of financial assistance that a custodial parent has received on behalf of his/her children from DSS.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) provides a number of requirements for employers, public licensing agencies, financial institutions, as well as state and federal child support agencies, to assist in the location of noncustodial parents and the establishment, enforcement, and collection of child support.
Financial assistance that is provided through the Department of Social Services (DSS) to households that meet the eligibility requirements.
A specified amount of money that the noncustodial parent pays to the Clerk of Court to avoid a jail sentence.
See alleged father.
Health insurance coverage that is available through the employer or other group health insurance is considered reasonable in cost.
An enforcement remedy for an Interstate case where a court order is enforced in the noncustodial parent’s state.
The cancellation or revocation of an admission of paternity that was made by signing the Affidavit of Parentage. Either parent can rescind paternity by filing a motion with the Clerk of Court.
The individual to whom CSS has assigned a caseload or specific set of tasks or duties.
A program that is funded by the State of North Carolina and its counties to provide for the needs of minor children whose families cannot take care of them. Children in SFHF Foster Care must be evaluated to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid. Most are found eligible, but if they are not, their cases are referred to as “DSS custody” cases. Also see Foster Care.
Outlines special needs of the child(ren) such as physical and emotional health needs, day care costs, or needs related to the child’s age and changes in custody status.
The seizure of a noncustodial parent's federal or state tax refund to apply towards past due child support.
Financial assistance received by an individual during periods of unemployment. The benefit amount is based on the individual's previous earnings.
The Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) was an act that provided for the establishment and enforcement of child support orders across state lines. URESA was superceded by UIFSA in 1996.
Obligors can sign a voluntary agreement to provide support for their children without a court hearing; however, once the judge signs a VSA, it is becomes a court order.
“Work First” is the program through which N.C. administers the federally funded TANF program. Work First payments are made to custodians (most often a parent) on behalf of dependent children on or about the first day of each month.
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Page Modified 04/08/2013