Domestic Relations



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(This is a list of words or phrases which are found in this reference and their meaning)

APA – the annualized periodic amount is defined as the amount of current support due for the month

Appeal – a document filed stating why the recommended Order of the Master/Hearing Officer is not acceptable

Arrears – money owed to the custodial parent for non-payment of the support order

Case Number – the 9-digit number assigned to a PACSES support case

Conference – the meeting held with a Domestic Relations Officer and the parties to establish paternity, if necessary and calculate the amount of support to be paid

Credit Bureau Reporting – reporting non-custodial parents who owe over sixty days of arrears to credit agencies

Contempt Conference – a conference in which the non-custodial parent is ordered to appear before a Domestic Relations Officer to explain why he or she is not complying with the Support Order  

Contempt Hearing – a hearing before a judge in a courtroom to determine if a defendant willfully failed to comply with a support order

Defendant – the person who is the “absent parent”; the one who pays support; also called the “non-custodial parent”

Dependant(s) – the person or persons (spouse and/or children) whom someone is bound by law to support

Domestic Relations Officer – an employee of the Domestic Relations Office who holds Support or Contempt Conferences and takes other enforcement actions when defendants are not complying with the support order.

E-Services - E-Services allows you to electronically submit requests for a variety of support services. E-Services uses a series of questions to complete documents to be forwarded to your county Domestic Relations Sections (DRS).

Genetic Testing – testing used to establish paternity

Hearing – an official Court meeting before a Hearing Officer (Master) or Judge

Hearing Officer (Master) – an attorney appointed by the Court to hear support cases

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system – a telephone system hooked up to the Domestic Relations PACSES computer which gives payment and other information without requiring the client to wait to speak to someone (available 24 hours/day. 7 days/week), the operator can be reached through this line also (during normal business hours)

Interstate – see U.I.F.S.A.

IRS Intercept – the action of taking a defendant’s IRS tax refund for the purpose of paying support arrears

Lien – past due support automatically becomes a legal claim on the property of the person owing arrears

Local Case – a case in which both parties are under the control of the Delaware County Court

Member ID Number – a 10-digit personal identification number that identifies you as a member in a PACSES case or cases

Modifying an Order – changing an Order by raising or lowering the amount of the support obligation, or adjusting the order when removing the obligation for a dependant

Notice of Non-Compliance – a notice to the defendant that the support Order is not being followed; sent if there has been no payment for 30 days or more

PACSES (Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System) – the statewide computer system used to track cases, keep financial records, and to automate the enforcement of support orders

Paternity – legally being the father of a child

Plaintiff – the person who asks for support; the one with whom the child lives; also called the “custodial parent”

Reciprocal Case – a case in which one of the parties is under the control of a court other than Delaware County (see U.I.F.S.A.)

Retroactive Arrears – back support that accrued between the time the petition for support is filed and the date the Order is entered

T.A.N.F – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: cash grant for children

U.I.F.S.A. – Uniform Interstate Family Support Act – governs administration of Interstate Support Cases

Wage Attachment Order – an Order of Court telling an employer to take a certain amount of money from the defendant’s pay for support, and requiring the employer to pay the support directly to the State Collection and Disbursement Unit

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