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How are child support orders enforced in North Carolina?

In order to account for the safety and well-being of children across the state, North Carolina mandates that parents be held financially responsible for their kids. Consequently, child support orders are established and enforced by the North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Services, which is a sector of the state's Division of Social Services. Not only is the CSE capable of establishing paternity and implementing child support orders but the CSE is also capable of using a number of methods to enforce the terms of legally binding child support agreements.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services discusses the various aspects of the child support enforcement services the organization provides, and explains that there are several options available for enforcing child support obligations. In instances where one parent makes partial payments, skips payments or fails to make payments altogether, the CSE can take measures to withhold, intercept or confiscate monies owed for child support.

One of the most common ways that the CSE enforces child support obligations is to withhold earnings from the liable parent. A percentage of income can be withheld by the parent's employer each pay period and sent directly to the state's Child Support Centralized Collections department. Similar deductions can also be made from other sources of income like Social Security benefits and unemployment insurance benefits.

In addition to withholding income, the CSE can also bill liable parents directly and/or file a court action for the amount of ordered child support owed. Another option is to report the unpaid child support to the appropriate credit bureaus. The CSE is also known to recover owed child support by intercepting tax refunds and placing liens on the liable parent's personal property.