Amount that a noncustodial parent pays to a child’s parent or guardian to contribute toward the financial cost of raising the child.
Fees (or Assessments)
Amounts charged in exchange for the services provided by courts, probation departments, and other agencies, (e.g., probation supervision, electronic monitoring, or a court filing fee).
A term used to encompass child support, restitution, fines, fees, surcharges, and other court-ordered debts commonly owed by people returning from prisons and jails to the community.
Fines (or Sanctions)
Penalties associated with committing specific crimes or levels of offense (e.g., a DUI or felony), which courts order as a punishment in their own right; these may be mandatory or discretionary.
Sums that judges order people convicted of crimes to pay to their victims as compensation for the financial losses associated with the crime.
Add-on amounts used to generate general fund revenue for specific purposes (e.g., law library, judge retirement, or staff training funds), often unrelated to the crime.
1The meaning of these terms varies by jurisdiction. This document uses definitions from Standards Relating to Court Costs: Fees, Miscellaneous Charges, and Surcharges, adopted at the Conference of State Court Administrators' 1986 Annual Meeting, Omaha, Neb.