Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take?
Each case is different and there are many factors that may affect the time it takes to establish an order. The more information you are able to provide us, the less time it will take. You are our best source of information! Some of the factors that will affect your case are: the time it takes to verify the location and employment of the non-custodial parent, the degree of legal difficulty of your case, whether or not paternity is at issue, whether or not court action is necessary, whether or not the non-custodial parent is actively avoiding location and/or legal service. Please remember that your case is one of many bring handled by the office and each client must be given equal consideration.
Who is eligible for Child Support Services?
Anyone is eligible to apply for child support services with the local Child Support Enforcement Office. A fee may be applicable.
Appointments are preferred. Please call (919)718-4690 to schedule an appointment with an agent.
What days are Child Support Agents available?
All agents are in court every other Friday of each month. With those exceptions, all agents are usually available and will schedule appointments. It is recommended that you call and schedule an appointment prior to coming to the office to see an agent. The local office is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
What should the custodial parent bring to the initial appointment?
Please bring the following information with you when you come for your scheduled appointment: Driver’s License, Social Security Cards for yourself and your child(ren), birth certificate for your child(ren), marriage license (if applicable), written verification of your employment and/or income, written verification of child care cost for child(ren), written verification or premiums paid for health/dental insurance for child(ren), all legal documents regarding paternity and/or support of the minor child(ren) and written verification of any court-ordered child support you pay for other child(ren).
What should the non-custodial parent bring to the initial appointment?
Driver’s License, Social Security Card, written verification of your employment and/or income, written verification of any child care which you pay for the Child(ren), written verification of any premiums paid by you for health/dental insurance for child(ren) and written verification of any court-ordered child support you pay for other children.
Who can I call to report information about changes in my address or employment?
Please call (919)718-4690 to report any changes in address or employment.
Who can I call for information regarding the mailing of my child support checks?
All questions regarding the distribution of child support checks should be directed to the toll-free Customer Services telephone number: 1-800-992-9457. Please have your individual MPI number available when you call. This number is required to secure information regarding child support checks. Please be sure to write this number down and keep it for reference when your agent provides this number for you.
Where do I send my child support payment?
All child support payments sent by the non-custodial parent should be made payable to NC Child Support and mailed to NC Child Support Centralized Collections, PO Box 900006, Raleigh, NC 27675-0577. Please include the following information on all payments: your name, your Social Security number, your address, your MPI number and your court docket number.
What happens if the obligated parent terminates employment?
The employer must notify in writing the child support agency that sent the income withholding notice, the date of termination, last known address of the obligated parent, and the name of his new employer, if known.
How far behind does the non-custodial parent have to be before the Agent will enforce the order?
Wage withholding is the preferred and first method of enforcement. Wage withholding is implemented whenever possible. If a non-custodial parent has changed jobs, this must be reported immediately so that verification can be obtained and wage withholding can be transferred to the new employment. The non-custodial parent must be more than 30 days delinquent before court action will be initiated. However, due to the large volume of cases and limited court time, it is often longer before court action is filed. The agent must have a valid residential address or employer for the non-custodial parent before an Order to Show Cause is initiated for court.
When I go to court, how long will it take to get my case heard?
Agents meet with clients and non-custodial parents prior to the opening of the court session in an effort to negotiate consent orders for presentation. The Judge hears any cases that cannot be resolved as soon as possible. No one can predict how long court will last. Be prepared to stay in court all day.
Why am I not receiving my child support checks?
You may have stopped receiving child support checks if your address is not correct in the computer system. You may call 1-800-992-9457 and talk with a Customer Service Representative to verify your address in the computer system. If you receive a work first check, you will not receive a child support check. Wage withholding payments will stop if the non-custodial parent is no longer working or changes jobs and does not report information timely.
Why are the checks I’m receiving for an amount other than what I’ve been court ordered to receive?
The court-order monthly amount is prorated according to the non-custodial parent’s pay periods. The support checks you receive within the year should equal the non-custodial parent’s obligation, if all payments are made. If the non-custodial parent has multiple child support orders, any money paid is prorated among all of the child support orders of the non-custodial parent.
What is the maximum amount that can be withheld each pay period from the obligated parent’s wages?
Under no circumstances can the percentage of disposable income withheld for child support exceed the following:
40 percent of disposable income when only one support order exists.
45 percent of disposable income when multiple support orders exist and the obligated parent is supporting a spouse or other children.
50 percent of disposable income when multiple support orders exist and the obligated parent is not supporting a spouse or other children.
What is meant by disposable income?
Disposable income is that amount which remains after deductions for federal, state and local taxes, Social Security and involuntary retirement contributions.
What if the obligated parent asks the employer to change the mount of withholding?
Neither the obligated parent nor employer may make changes in the withholding amount. If changes become necessary, you will be notified by the agency that sent the notice to the employer. If an obligated parent has questions, they should contact their child support enforcement agency.
I do not like the way the system works, and I want my support paid directly to the custodial parent – what steps do I need to take?
Once an order is in place, it takes another order to modify it. The non-custodial parent only receives credit for payments sent directly to NC Centralized Collections. The non-custodial parent must pay child support according to the court order! If the custodial parent does not receive public assistance and is willing to suspend the child support order, the parties may schedule an appointment with the agent to sign court paperwork to modify (or suspend) the child support order. Appropriate paperwork must be completed and signed by the Judge in order to suspend payments on an order for child support!
What can I do to keep my taxes from being intercepted?
All child support orders enforced by Child Support Enforcement are subject to tax intercept for payment of arrears. State taxes may be intercepted when the arrears of the non-custodial parent equals or exceeds $50. Federal taxes may be intercepted when the arrears of the non-custodial parent equals $500.00 owed to the client and/or $150.00 owed to the State of NC. Arrears balances are normally certified in September, and this information is automatically reported to the NC Department of Revenue and the IRS. If you believe your taxes are being intercepted in error, you must follow instructions in the letter notifying you of the tax intercept and act promptly to file an appeal regarding your tax intercept. If an appeal is not filed timely, you waive your right to appeal this matter.
What if the non-custodial parent lives in another state?
If the non-custodial parent lives in another state, action will be initiated in Chatham County and forwarded through the other state’s central registry to the child support authority in the jurisdiction where the absent parent resides. That office will then bring the absent parent before the local court to request that a child support order is entered. The court in the other state has the authority to set the amount of the order. Cases that involve multiple interstate jurisdiction can become complex and time consuming, especially when the non-custodial parent is uncooperative. However, legal requirements and protocol must be observed in order to preserve the integrity of the child support case.
Child Support Enforcement home page