401(k) Plan – In this type of defined contribution plan, the employee can make contributions from
his or her paycheck before taxes are taken out. The contributions go into a 401(k) account, with
the employee often choosing the investments based on options provided under the plan. In some
plans, the employer also makes contributions, matching the employee’s contributions up to a
certain percentage. SIMPLE and Safe Harbor 401(k) plans have additional employer contribution
and vesting requirements.
IV-D Services - When a party is receiving child support services offered through a local child
support agency. Refers to Title IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act at Title 42, United States
Code sections 651 and thereafter.
Account - Record of financial transactions in a case, which includes a record of charges against a
child support obligor for such things as current support, welfare arrears, spousal support, blood
test fees, court costs, attorney's fees and interest. Also includes a record of payments by the
obligor and adjustments to the financial record.
Account Audit - An examination of the account or accounts of a child support obligor to determine
necessary adjustments and/or the balance owing.
Action – A lawsuit or proceeding in a court of law.
Affidavit – A written statement of facts made under oath and signed before a notary public or
other officer who has authority to administer oaths.
Agreement – A verbal or written resolution of disputed issues.
Alimony – in California referred to as Spousal Support.
Alternative Dispute Resolution – ways for parties in a divorce to resolve their disagreements
without a trial. Alternative Dispute Resolution methods include: negotiation, mediation, collaborative
law and arbitration.
Annulment – The legal ending of an “Invalid Marriage.” In the eyes of the law neither party was
ever married, but all children born of the annulled marriage remain legitimate.
Appeal – The process whereby a higher court reviews the proceeding in a lower court and
determines whether there was reversible error.
Appraisal – Procedure for determining the fair market value of an asset when it is to be sold or
divided as part of the divorce process.
Arbitration – Submitting a disputed matter for decision to a person who is not a judge. The parties
can agree that on certain issues the decision of an arbitrator is binding and final. Arbitration varies
greatly from Mediation.
Arrearages – The difference between the amount of spousal support or child support paid, if any,
and the amount required under court order. An arrearage is any past due child support including
Assets – Cash, property, investments, goodwill, and other items of value (as defined by state law)
that appear on a balance sheet indicating the net worth of an individual or a business.
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