The two main options for a parent in need of child support is either to file a lawsuit seeking child support or sit back and hope the other parent will decide to voluntarily provide support. If you are reading this blog article the second option is likely not going so well. So how do you go about filing a lawsuit for child support? You can file an action for support yourself, hire an attorney, or contact your local Child Support Enforcement Agency ("CSE" or IV-D agency) to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your tax dollars fund the Child Support Enforcement Agency and there is a nominal fee of $25 to start the initial application and worksheet. Be aware that CSE will not represent you in a custody dispute should one arise as a result of you filing for monetary support.
If you decide to find your local CSE agency they generally will first write a letter to the other side asking them to provide pay-stubs to calculate child support under the NC guidelines in hopes of reaching an agreement without a contested court hearing. This is both good and bad. The good is sometimes this results in a quick resolution without the need for a contested court hearing. The bad is this can lead to a delay if the other side refuses to cooperate. If you feel the other side is never going to agree to anything you may wish to hire private legal counsel as the North Carolina court system can be an agonizing and lengthy process.
How long does it take for child support to start?
Even if you file a lawsuit for child support today it can take months to get in front of a Judge in NC and even longer for wage withholding to begin. First you have to serve the other side by sheriff or certified mail. That can sometime take days or weeks. Next they have 30 days upon service to file a written answer with the court. This deadline can be extended for an additional 30 days giving them 60 days before they even have to Answer your Complaint. Next your local trial court administrator has to calendar your case for hearing. Depending on what county your action has been filed this can take months. Finally, after a judge sets a child support monthly payment amount it will take additional time for Raleigh to assign a MPI case number, send a letter to the employer to begin wage withholding, and even more time for the company to begin payroll deductions.
Before you freak out and think there is no point because you will be homeless or starving before you receive a dime do not forget the sooner you start the process the sooner you will begin receiving support. You may also apply for Medicaid, food stamps, or other government benefits in the interim as you wait for child support to begin. In addition sometimes simply filing a lawsuit prompts the other parent to begin paying as many fear going before a judge to explain why they failed to support their child.
Devarya J Ferguson
9/26/2022 12:52:12 am
I filled out application at child support for paternity test, the other alleged father' got a at home test so I'm trying to see how long will it take, there trying to get the mother to comply as we speak
9/26/2022 09:21:52 am
It could depend on whether Mom cooperates or if you have to have a hearing on a motion for a DNA test.
10/6/2022 11:19:41 am
I filed in July and it's been over 3 months now and I've heard absolutely nothing from the Cumberland County office. It's honestly like they don't even care but they can themselves advocating on behalf of the child. It's bs! They don't care. I still don't even have a case worker yet.
10/6/2022 05:13:13 pm
Court is a very slow process and Child Support Enforcement Agency is about a fast as the DMV. That being said, they usually eventually get the job done. In the alternative you can always hire your own private attorney to take over the case.
10/31/2022 05:15:49 pm
What if the process has taken almost two years? Father is a physician whom is not involved. We have done four mandated paternity tests through Labcorp. Of course, they all came back his. Interesting enough, on each one he filled out a different race portion as if genes would change. He has refused to admit he is the father without a court order as the same with any type of support. He has stated he will take me to the circuit court then to Supreme Court if he has to pay a dollar in child support. I know this is very contested. My son has a multitude of disabilities that require a multitude of appointments. He has medication he takes daily due to a hereditary condition his father failed to mention during our relationship. When somebody contests everything, uses status to delay hearings, and does not contribute nor offer any type of contribution: how long will it take to force? I mean it’s been almost two years. I do believe he will run when it does become mandatory. Do you know of any government program that temporary pays on a basis to soon collect payment of support for the child? I am drowning with childcare, childcare arrangements due to my work schedule at the hospital, going to appointments, and everything else. What is the longest time frame thought you have seen a contested supporT case?
10/31/2022 05:23:39 pm
Most deadbeat dads are broke and can't afford to file an appeal, which is very difficult to pursue without an attorney. Court can drag on for a variety of reasons such as the Covid backlog, parties or a judge being sick, child support enforcement not doing their job in a timely fashion. I have not seen a child support take 2 years, but things vary by county. Also not aware of any government advances for child support outside of needs based assistance for food, Medicaid, and housing assistance. Perhaps try and contact your caseworker to see if anything can be done to expedite your next court date.
11/1/2022 02:30:33 am
what if the father is not a part of the child life and doesnt want to be in the childs life and wants to sign over rights how does child support work then. Does NC make you pay child support if you sign your right over and how does the mother fight it.
11/1/2022 09:56:46 am
The mother can certainly object to termination of parental rights based on grounds she needs child support.
11/3/2022 05:47:13 am
What would happen if the father is a illegal immigrant and is not involved in the kids life? Would that case proceeds anywhere?
11/3/2022 09:57:15 am
An illegal immigrant can still be sued and ordered to pay child support. The problem is they may disappear or be deported and collection becomes difficult to impossible.
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