Written by Jonathan Breeden
Many parents are ready, willing, and able to meet their financial obligations to support their children, but there are others who evade their duties. Whether your child’s other parent doesn’t pay in full or skips child support payments entirely, you’re in a very difficult financial position without the funds you need. It may come as some relief to know that North Carolina family law provides you with options for collecting past-due child support.
A North Carolina child custody lawyer can help shoulder the legal burdens and assist you in getting the back child support payments. With offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, NC the Breeden Law Office can review your circumstances, advise you on the state’s child support enforcement laws, and fight to get everything you legally deserve.
Before collecting past-due child support, you must have the legal right to do so. This requires a valid child support order issued by a court.
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It’s possible to enter an agreed child support order, but the court will decide the matter after a hearing if you cannot reach a compromise. In general, the amount of child support is determined according to North Carolina’s child support guidelines.
If you were never married to your child’s other parent, you can still obtain a child support order, but you must first establish legal paternity. This can be done in one of two ways:
Once signed by the judge, a child support order has the full force and effect of law. The process of collecting regular payments from the noncustodial parent and distributing them to the custodial parent is typically very efficient: Payments are often deducted from the payor’s income and forwarded to the other parent according to the terms of the order.
If circumstances change, either parent can request the court to modify the child support order to reflect the new situation.
When the noncustodial parent doesn’t comply with the child support order, they can potentially be held in contempt of court. A parent’s failure to live up to financial obligations is a very serious matter in the eyes of North Carolina courts, so there may be civil and criminal consequences.
In addition to court sanctions for parents who don’t pay, North Carolina has various legal options for collecting past due child support. An attorney can assist with preparation of documents, filing them in court, and representing you at court hearings related to:
If you need assistance with collecting past due child support, it’s essential to have a skilled, knowledgeable family law attorney to advocate on your behalf throughout the process. Attorney Jonathan Breeden has more than 15 years of experience representing clients throughout North Carolina in a wide range of family law matters, including enforcement of child support obligations.