The parents in a child support case can be described in several ways. The easiest words to use are probably “mother” and “father.” However, it is not always the case that the mother is the party receiving the child support and the father is the one paying it. You may also hear the phrases “custodial party,” “custodial parent,” “non-custodial parent,” and “non-custodial party.”

Because these terms are often imperfect and inaccurate, the words “obligor” and “obligee” are frequently used. The obligor is the parent responsible for making the support payments, and the obligee is the recipient of these payments. These words have the virtue of being applicable in almost every child support case, regardless of which parent is in which role.