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Craven County Child Support Enforcement
Craven County Child Support Enforcement
Craven County Child Support Enforcement
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Craven County Child Support Enforcement

Enforcing an Order

What is enforcement?

Once the child support order is obtained, the child support office will enforce the order if the non-custodial parent does not pay as ordered. The duty of support continues until a child turns 18 years of age. North Carolina General Statutes 110-129(2) and 50-13.4(c) provide for the extension of Child Support Enforcement services beyond age 18 when a child is still in primary or high school and until such time that he/she graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress, or reaches age 20, whichever comes first. The extension of support beyond age 18 is applicable in both Work First Family Assistance and Non-Public Assistance cases.

If child support is not being paid as ordered, the local child support office enforces the order for current support and any past due child support (arrears) balances. When an employer or payer of income is identified, an income withholding order is sent and an amount to pay on arrears is included.

How is my employer notified to withhold wages?

If the employer is known, the child support enforcement agency sends the notice of income assignment to the employer when the order is established.

If the employer is unknown, the notice of income assignment is sent by the local child support enforcement agency as soon as an employer is located. Employers are required by federal law to report information on all newly hired employees to the appropriate state new hire reporting center. The social security number and employee name is matched with child support cases to identify employers and help locate absent parents that match the information collected in the New Hire Reporting Database.

What if I don't pay my child support?

If you don't pay your child support, past due payments called arrears will accumulate. The child support enforcement agency may collect arrears by:

  • Putting liens on your personal and real property
  • Intercepting your State and Federal tax refunds
  • Seizing your bank accounts
  • Intercepting unemployment and disability benefits
  • Revoking your driver's and other business, professional and recreational licenses
  • Filing a legal action against you in court, which can lead to jail

The type of enforcement action taken depends on the individual circumstances of your case.

The best way to avoid these collection methods is to pay your child support. If you are having trouble making your payments, call the Craven Child Support Enforcement Agency--we may be able to help.

How are arrears calculated?

Arrears begin to accumulate as soon as a payment or portion of a payment is missed. Missed payments are tracked by the State's automated child support enforcement system. Payments prior to the automated system were tracked through court records or by the custodial parent and non-custodial parent if the payments were not paid through the court. All of the records are used to determine the arrears. Click here to request your payment history from a caseworker.

Estimated Timeframe

Unless service of process is necessary, Child Support Enforcement (CSE) must take appropriate enforcement actions, within thirty (30) calendar days of locating a non-custodial parent or identifying non-compliance.

When service of process is necessary, enforcement action, including service, is attempted within sixty (60) days of identifying the non-compliance.

CSE must submit all CSE cases that meet certification requirements for tax intercept annually.

Information Required

To help enforce your case, provide your caseworker with:

  • Full name, address, and phone number of the parent who is responsible for support and date at last address;
  • Social Security number of the non-custodial parent;
  • Name and address of the current or most recent employer of the non-custodial parent; and
  • Any other information pertaining to income or property of the non-custodial parent such as cars, boats, homes, bank accounts, inheritance, and possible personal injury settlements.

Review and Modification

What is modification?

Modification occurs when the terms of the child support and/or medical support order are changed. A significant change in the parent's circumstances is required for the order to be modified. Either parent, a guardian, or the child support enforcement agency can ask for a review of a child support order to see if the amount of the order should be changed or if health insurance needs to be added. A review will be made if it has been at least three years from the date of your latest court order or three years from the date it was last reviewed. A review can only take place frequently if there is a major change in the obligor's income or some other significant change. You should contact your local child support agency if:

  • You lose your job
  • You have a substantial increase or decrease in income
  • Custody of your child changes

However, once the review process is started, it can't be stopped. Your order could increase, decrease, or stay the same. Be sure that you have a legitimate reason for requesting a modification. To be eligible for modification, the new order must differ at least 15 percent from the current order. If the current order is less than $100 per month, the order can be modified if the difference between the new order and the current order is at least $15.00 per month.

Judges look at the circumstances of the job loss before making any change. The earning potential of unemployed non-custodial parents is used to determine the amount of the order. Unemployment benefits can also be intercepted to pay child support.

Information Required

To determine whether a modification of the child support order is needed, the judge will need to know the name and address of the current or most recent employer of the non-custodial parent and his or her gross/net income.

Timeframes

Automatic reviews take place 36 months from establishment or 36 months from the time of the most recent review. Either party may also request a modification review under the circumstances discussed above.

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