North Carolina Divorce FAQ’s – Child Support

This is about child support in North Carolina after divorce, including how child support gets figured, how parents can change child support, when the court orders for child support to be withheld from paychecks, and when the court will deviate from child support guidelines in North Carolina.

This information is from Lee Rosen, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for North Carolina. Click here to visit his web site.

How does child support get figured?

The court will order that child support be paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent. In North Carolina child support payments are based on guidelines. These guidelines are adhered to by the court in the typical case; however, the court may deviate from the guidelines. The non-custodial parent is ordered by the court to pay a percentage of that parent’s gross monthly income. The child support guidelines are available at

The Child Support Enforcement Agency is a government agency which works with custodial parents to obtain child support. Private attorneys also assist custodial parents in the collection of child support. A number of remedies are available for the enforcement of child support including seizure of real estate and personal property, orders that bonds be posted, assignment of wages, garnishment, arrest, and interception of income tax refunds. The Child Support Enforcement Agency does not require payment of its fees in advance and it is the most cost efficient mechanism for the collection of child support by those who are unable to pay the fees required by private attorneys.

How do you change child support?

Child support is changed upon the filing of a motion alleging a change in circumstances since the entry of the prior order. A hearing must be held and, assuming the judge finds that a substantial change has taken place, the judge will apply the guidelines to the present income situation.

Does child support get deducted from the payor’s paycheck? How?

Child support may be deducted from the payor’s check. The court will generally order wage withholding.

When will the court allow a deviation from the guidelines?

The court is permitted to deviate from the guidelines as long as one party has provided notice of their intent to request a deviation at least 10 days prior to the hearing. It is very unusual for North Carolina judges to deviate from the guidelines.

Other issues in North Carolina: