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IV-D
The section of the Social Security Act that outlines the federal regulations relating to child support collections.
IV-D Court
The court that handles Title IV-D cases related to paternity and child support.

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A

Acknowledgment of Paternity
When both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, and it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, the biological father becomes the legal father. Once paternity has been established, the father’s name is placed on the birth certificate. A court may then order the father to pay child support and grant him the right to visitation or possession of his child.
Administrative Income Withholding (AIW)
Child support that is automatically taken out of a noncustodial parent’s (NCP) wages, also known by his or her employer, and sent to the Texas State Disbursement Unit, as wage garnishment or an Income Withholding Order.
Administrative Removal
A removal process that allows child support offices to remove a noncompliant NCP Choices participant from the program without bringing the NCP back to court and without punitive consequences (e.g., arrest warrant/capias, motion to revoke, jail sentence).
Arrears
Unpaid child support debt.
Assessment
An in-depth evaluation of employability, educational history, vocational and educational skills, literacy levels, work experience, criminal history, special circumstances and support service needs.

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C

Capias
A writ (court order) issued by a court directing an officer to arrest the person named; it is also known as an arrest warrant or bench warrant.
Child Support Review Process (CSRP)
A quasi-administrative way for parents to resolve legal issues about their child support without going to court. Parents meet with a child support officer to negotiate an order. Once an agreement is reached, a CSRP order is filed with the court and reviewed by a judge. After the judge has signed it, a CSRP order is legally binding and will be enforced just as any order obtained through a court proceeding.
Choices Online Tracking System (COLTS)
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Web-based tracking and reporting system shared by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), local Workforce Development Boards (Boards), Workforce Solutions Office staff and OAG that is used to store and retrieve real-time NCP Choices participant data. Approved users can access the COLTS system. OAG also provides related resources and information through COLTS, including the following:
Compliance Hearing
A court hearing that includes review of an NCP’s compliance with NCP Choices program requirements. Compliance hearings are set at the judge’s discretion and are typically scheduled for enforcement cases at 30, 60 or 90 days—depending on the court—from the date an NCP is ordered into NCP Choices.
Custodial Parent
The individual who has primary care and custody of the child.

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D

Deferred Commitment
A court order in which an NCP’s jail sentence (commitment) is deferred to a future court date, at which time the NCP may begin serving his or her jail sentence.
Domestic Relations Office
County court office that provides information and services related to child support orders, including collections, support and possession of and access to children, and enforcement of orders for child and medical support.

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E

Employment Plan
A plan of action developed by Workforce Solutions Office staff with the NCP Choices participant and based on assessments of the NCP’s skills, strengths and abilities, with the goal of self-sufficiency through employment. The employment plan must include postemployment service strategies to assist the individual with employment retention and advancement.
Employment Retention
When an NCP is employed within the 1st calendar quarter after exit and employed in the 2nd and 3rd calendar quarters after exit.
Enforcement Hearing
Court hearing in which solutions to obtain child support payments are applied. Enforcement hearings are not held unless the NCP has past due, unpaid child support payments or is considered to be in arrears. This hearing is for the sole purpose of the NCP Choices program.
Entered Employment
When an NCP obtains employment by the end of the 1st calendar quarter after exit.
Establishment Hearing
Court hearing that establishes paternity and child support payment levels.

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I

Income Withholding Order
A court order requiring child support to be automatically taken out of an NCP’s wages by his or her employer and sent to the Texas State Disbursement Unit; it is also known as wage garnishment or administrative income withholding (AIW).

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L

Local Workforce Development Board (Board)
The organization responsible for the planning and oversight of workforce services within its designated local workforce development area (workforce area).

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M

Motion to Revoke (MREV)
The revocation of a suspended commitment order. If an NCP does not comply with his or her child support order, OAG submits an MREV requesting that the judge revoke the suspended commitment and the MREV may be accompanied by the court’s issuance of an arrest warrant for the NCP. It is also known as a Motion to Revoke Probation or an MTRP.

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N

NCP Choices Participant
An individual who is participating in the NCP Choices program as directed by an enforcement or establishment court order.
NCP Choices PEER Demonstration Project
A five-year demonstration grant offered by ACF OCSE, which allows implementation of the Texas NCP Choices program, with the addition of the Parent Employment Education and Responsibility (PEER) curriculum and random assignment components. Two Boards—Central Texas and South Texas—are currently operating the program under this grant.
Nonpublic Assistance (NPA) Case
A case in which an NCP is not associated with any individual receiving public assistance.
Noncompliance
Noncooperation with NCP Choices program guidelines, including a lack of participation in work search activities, lack of response to outreach notices and nonpayment of child support.
Noncustodial Parent (NCP)
An individual who does not have primary care or custody of his or her child and is required to pay child support; also known as the obligor.

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O

Obligor
The individual responsible for paying child support; also known as the NCP.
Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
The state agency serving as legal counsel for the State of Texas; among other duties, OAG is charged with providing services to parents and guardians who wish to obtain or provide support for their children.

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P

Parent Employment, Education and Responsibility (PEER)
A curriculum developed for noncustodial parents by the OAG, and designed as a series of facilitated peer-to-peer workshops, to increase noncustodial parents’ emotional and financial support to their children and strengthen co-parenting relationships. The curriculum is incorporated into the 30-hour participation requirements of the court order. Two Boards—Central Texas and South Texas—have been approved to implement PEER workshops under the NCP Choices PEER demonstration grant.

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S

Suspended Commitment
The court order may find the NCP in contempt and enter a jail sentence, but suspend the sentence before the NCP begins serving the time. This is similar to placing an individual on probation. The Court may set whatever terms it deems appropriate for the conditions of the suspended sentence, including reporting to a probation officer or participating with the NCP Choices program.

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T

Texas Child Support Enforcement System (TXCSES)
The OAG data-automation system used for storing and retrieving NCP case information and status.
The Workforce Information System of Texas (TWIST)
The TWC data-automation system used for storing and retrieving NCP Choices participant data, such as demographics and performance.

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W

Work Activities
For the purposes of the NCP Choices program, work activities include job readiness, job search, vocational and educational training, work experience, on-the-job training, subsidized employment, unsubsidized employment, unsubsidized self-employment and community service.
Workforce Orientation for Applicants
An orientation that includes information on available Texas workforce system services designed to assist job seekers in obtaining employment.

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