Legal Thunder’s Lexicon of Legal Terminology

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The action or process of distributing something; the portion of a particular resource assigned to one or more recipients.
The amount or portion of a debt that is overdue because of missed payments.
Monies that are owed pursuant to a pre-existing court order and should have been paid by a prior date.

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A frequency of every two weeks, often the same day of the week (e.g., every other Friday or every other Tuesday) or twice each week. In the context of payment frequencies, the term “biweekly” more commonly signifies every two weeks. An event that occurs biweekly occurs 26 times in a year. A biweekly frequency should be distinguished from a semimonthly frequency. Something that occurs semimonthly occurs just twice in a month, often the same dates each month (e.g., the 1st and 15th of every month, or the 5th and the 20th of every month), or 24 times in a year.
Basic Child Support Schedule
Also known as the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations. The basic child support schedule refers to the chart within the Child Support Guidelines which details how much basic child support should be paid by parents based upon their combined adjusted gross monthly incomes and the number of children subject to the order. The statute where the Basic Child Support Schedule can be found is C.R.S. § 14-10-115(7).

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Case Law
Law based upon the formal, written opinions of judges in previous cases which have been selected for publication in case law reporters.
Child Support Commission
Colorado’s Child Support Commission is required by Title IV of the Social Security Act and established by section 14-10-115(16), C.R.S. The Commission is charged with reviewing the child support guidelines and general child support issues, and as part of such duty the commission considers and analyzes economic data on the cost of raising children. The members are appointed by the governor and include members of the judiciary, representatives from Child Support Enforcement, a director of a county department of human services, parent representatives, a certified public accountant, a member of the house of representatives, and a member of the senate. In making such appointments, the governor must strive for geographical and political diversity among the members of the commission. The members of the commission are not compensated for their services, except for actual and necessary expenses.
Colorado Revised Statutes (“C.R.S.”)
The Colorado Revised Statutes are the codified statutes of the Colorado General Assembly. In other words, laws drafted and passed by the state legislature.
A Co-Petitioner is a legal term referring to the second party who signed the initial petition that started a case. This party designation continues for the life of the case.
Custodial Parent/Party
The parent with whom the child resides a majority of the time; or the designated primary residential parent.

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The payment of money from a designated fund.

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Family Support Registry (“FSR”)
A division of Colorado’s Department of Human Services which collects child support and maintenance payments, disburses the payments, and maintains records of such payments.

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Income Assignment
The immediate deduction of child support payments from an obligor’s wages. See C.R.S. § 14-14-111.5.
An intervenor is an interested third party (not the petitioner or the respondent) that has entered a case formally with the Court’s permission. An intervenors could be an individual such as a grandparent, or an organization such as child support services or department of human services.

IV-D Case
A child support case which has been opened via the local child support program authorized by Title IV of the federal Social Security Act. Typically, a IV-D case will have its own IV-D case number, in addition to the case number it is assigned if it enters the court system.

IV-D Program
Another term for the child support Program federally authorized by Title IV of the Social Security Act. On the federal level, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, and the Office of Child Support Enforcement oversee the program. States and U.S. territories run local IV-D child support programs in compliance with the federal program.

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The official or legal authority to granted to a judicial or administrative body to make legal decisions and judgments within a defined area of responsibility.

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A remedy based upon principles of equity or fairness which prevents a party from enforcing a right where that party’s extensive and unjustifiable delay in seeking enforcement caused prejudice to the party from whom enforcement is sought.

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The term used to refer to the financial support one spouse regularly provides to his or her former spouse; also known as alimony, spousal support, spousal maintenance.

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Non-Custodial Parent / Non-Custodial Party
The parent who has less parenting time than the primary residential parent.

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A person or agency to whom a duty of support is owed, or a person or agency who has initiated proceedings to establish or enforce support.
A person owing a duty of support, or a person against whom proceedings for the establishment or enforcement of support is initiated.

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The party who filed the initial petition that started a case. This designation continues for the life of the case.

In finance, the original amount of money borrowed, financed, or owed.

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A Respondent is the party who must respond to the initial petition that started a case. The respondent is served the initial petition or must waive service of the initial petition. This designation continues for the life of the case.
Retroactive Support
Retroactive support refers to support that accrued from the date the initial petition or motion to modify was filed until the support order was actually issued. Retroactive support differs from arrears because retroactive support had not been determined until the support order was issued; whereas arrears are payments which a prior order had already determined to be owed.

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Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations
See Basic Child Support Schedule
A frequency of twice per month, often the same dates of the monthly calendar (e.g., the 1st and 15th of every month or the 5th and the 20th of every month), or alternatively, a frequency of every two months. An event that occurs semimonthly occurs 24 times in a year or 6 times in a year. In relation to payment frequency, the term “semimonthly” often refers to an occurrence of twice per month. A semimonthly frequency should be distinguished from a biweekly frequency (e.g., every other Friday or every other Tuesday). Because there are 52 weeks in a year, something that occurs biweekly occurs 26 times in a year; that is two more times than a semimonthly occurrence in a year.

Simple Interest
Interest calculated solely based upon the principal balance of the debt at the interest rate set by agreement or by law.

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Usury Limit
The maximum rate at which interest can be charged, often set by state laws.

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The legal or most convenient place where a particular case should be filed or managed.

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