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Child Support in North Carolina

North Carolina child support services are available to custodial parents or legal guardians who wish to receive assistance in collecting child support payments from a child’s non-custodial mother or father. Under the state child support enforcement program, these services are available to parents, non-parent caretakers, alleged fathers, social service agencies, minor children and judicial officials. Additionally, child support lawyers are available to help parents or legal guardians collect support payments for their children while also representing them with legal matters such as custody or visitation rights. To get started, custodial parents can find child support legal services online here. To discover the benefits of hiring a child support attorney and to learn more about NC child support lawyers’ fees, review the information below.

What does child support cover in North Carolina?

“What is child support and what does it cover?”, residents may wonder. The mission of the state’s child support enforcement division is to consistently collect as much owed support money as possible to benefit children in the state. As such, North Carolina child support services are available to custodial parents, non-custodial mothers or fathers, alleged fathers, legal guardians, judicial officials and social service agencies, as long as these child support applicants can provide supporting documentation when applying for benefits. These spousal support services are available to parents regardless of income or whether they were ever married to the non-custodial parent.

Furthermore, NC child support payments cover expenses for food, shelter, clothing, education, medical fees, basic transportation needs and childcare. Child support money sometimes covers additional expenses as well, including extracurricular activities, sports enrollment, college fees and camping trips. A reputable child support lawyer can help custodial parents collect the many benefits and services available to them.

Additionally, child support attorneys can help parents or legal guardians gather all application materials and supporting documentation to support their child support claim, including legal documents such as paternity orders, spousal support orders, marriage and/or divorce decrees, or domestic violence protective orders. Parents in need of child support assistance in NC can get child support legal services online here.

How to Apply for Child Support In North Carolina

Parents who wish to apply for child support payments in North Carolina may complete the application process through the state Child Support Enforcement (CSE) office under the Division of Social Services and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). When child support applicants receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), however, the agency automatically refers them to a local support enforcement office. As such, the support enforcement division helps custodial parents collect support payments from non-custodial mothers or fathers, in addition to providing them with services such as the following:

  • Paternity establishment (for children born outside of marriage)
  • Locating non-custodial parents
  • Support obligation establishment and enforcement
  • Collection and distribution of support

To apply for child support services such as these, petitioners must complete an Application for Services (DSS-4451) and submit it with the following supporting documentation (if applicable) to any local North Carolina child support enforcement office:

  • Proof of income (such as a pay stub or tax return)
  • A copy of a photo ID
  • A copy of each child’s birth certificate and Social Security card
  • A photo of the child’s non-custodial parent
  • A copy of marriage and/or divorce certificates
  • Payment records of all support paid directly to the custodial parent
  • A copy of any other legal documents, including paternity orders, child or spousal support orders, or an affidavit of parentage
  • Payment for the application fee

After applying for child support services in NC, parents may hire a private child support attorney to represent their personal interests during the case. While the child support enforcement division also employs child support attorneys, these lawyers represent the agency and cannot represent parents or children in personal legal matters. Instead, parents must hire private child support lawyers to assist them in establishing visitation rights, custody or property settlements. Parents can find an NC child support lawyer and other legal services here.

How can North Carolina child support lawyers help me?

Custodial parents can benefit from the assistance of a child support attorney in addition to the programs and services available under the child support enforcement. The North Carolina support enforcement division cannot represent parents in legal matters such as custody or visitation rights, but a professional child support lawyer can. Additionally, child support attorneys can help to simplify the process of obtaining child support from the non-custodial mother or father, even if a divorce, annulment or separation is amicable. Child support lawyers work to protect the legal rights of their clients, while also keeping the personal interests of children and parents in mind.

Furthermore, child support lawyer fees vary depending on the types of services parents need. In many cases, lawyers’ fees for child support services range between $100 and $500 an hour, unless the attorney works for a flat fee. However, these child support attorney fees are much more affordable than the cost of providing for a child without receiving spousal support payments from the non-custodial parent. To find an affordable child support lawyer in North Carolina, parents can search for child support legal assistance online here.