NCGA 50-13.4 (a) Any parent, or any person, agency, organization or institution having custody of
a minor child, or bringing an action or proceeding for the custody of such child, or a minor
child by his guardian may institute an action for the support of such child as hereinafter
provided. NCGA 50-13.4 (b) In the absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances otherwise warrant,
the father and mother shall be primarily liable for the support of a minor child. In the
absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances otherwise warrant, parents of a minor,
unemancipated child who is the custodial or noncustodial parent of a child shall share this
primary liability for their grandchild's support with the minor parent, the court determining
the proper share, until the minor parent reaches the age of 18 or becomes emancipated. If
both the parents of the child requiring support were unemancipated minors at the time of
the child's conception, the parents of both minor parents share primary liability for their
grandchild's support until both minor parents reach the age of 18 or become emancipated.
If only one parent of the child requiring support was an unemancipated minor at the time
of the child's conception, the parents of both parents are liable for any arrearages in child
support owed by the adult or emancipated parent until the other parent reaches the age of
18 or becomes emancipated. In the absence of pleading and proof that the circumstances
otherwise warrant, any other person, agency, organization or institution standing in loco
parentis shall be secondarily liable for such support. Such other circumstances may include,
but shall not be limited to, the relative ability of all the above-mentioned parties to provide
support or the inability of one or more of them to provide support, and the needs and estate
of the child. The judge may enter an order requiring any one or more of the
above-mentioned parties to provide for the support of the child as may be appropriate in
the particular case, and if appropriate the court may authorize the application of any
separate estate of the child to his support. However, the judge may not order support to be
paid by a person who is not the child's parent or an agency, organization or institution
standing in loco parentis absent evidence and a finding that such person, agency,
organization or institution has voluntarily assumed the obligation of support in writing. The
preceding sentence shall not be construed to prevent any court from ordering the support
of a child by an agency of the State or county which agency may be responsible under law
for such support.
The judge may order responsible parents in a IV-D establishment case to perform a job
search, if the responsible parent is not incapacitated. This includes IV-D cases in which the
responsible parent is a noncustodial mother or a noncustodial father whose affidavit of
parentage has been filed with the court or when paternity is not at issue for the child. The
court may further order the responsible parent to participate in work activities, as defined
in 42 U.S.C. * 607, as the court deems appropriate. NCGA 50-13.4 (c) Payments ordered for the support of a minor child shall be in such amount as to
meet the reasonable needs of the child for health, education, and maintenance, having due
NC General Statutes - Chapter 50 Article 1 14
regard to the estates, earnings, conditions, accustomed standard of living of the child and
the parties, the child care and homemaker contributions of each party, and other facts of
the particular case. Payments ordered for the support of a minor child shall be on a monthly
basis, due and payable on the first day of each month. The requirement that orders be
established on a monthly basis does not affect the availability of garnishment of disposable
earnings based on an obligor's pay period.
The court shall determine the amount of child support payments by applying the
presumptive guidelines established pursuant to subsection (c1) of this section. However,
upon request of any party, the Court shall hear evidence, and from the evidence, find the
facts relating to the reasonable needs of the child for support and the relative ability of each
parent to provide support. If, after considering the evidence, the Court finds by the greater
weight of the evidence that the application of the guidelines would not meet or would
exceed the reasonable needs of the child considering the relative ability of each parent to
provide support or would be otherwise unjust or inappropriate the Court may vary from the
guidelines. If the court orders an amount other than the amount determined by application
of the presumptive guidelines, the court shall make findings of fact as to the criteria that
justify varying from the guidelines and the basis for the amount ordered. NCGA 50-13.4 Payments ordered for the support of a child shall terminate when the child reaches the
age of 18 except:
(1) If the child is otherwise emancipated, payments shall terminate at that
(2) If the child is still in primary or secondary school when the child reaches
age 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates,
otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make
satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reaches age 20,
whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that
payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation.
(3) (See Editor's note for applicability) If the child is enrolled in a
cooperative innovative high school program authorized under Part 9 of
Article 16 of Chapter 115C of the General Statutes, then payments shall
terminate when the child completes his or her fourth year of enrollment
or when the child reaches the age of 18, whichever occurs later.
In the case of graduation, or attaining age 20, payments shall terminate without order
by the court, subject to the right of the party receiving support to show, upon motion and
with notice to the opposing party, that the child has not graduated or attained the age of 20.
If an arrearage for child support or fees due exists at the time that a child support
obligation terminates, payments shall continue in the same total amount that was due under
the terms of the previous court order or income withholding in effect at the time of the
support obligation. The total amount of these payments is to be applied to the arrearage
until all arrearages and fees are satisfied or until further order of the court.
(c1) Effective July 1, 1990, the Conference of Chief District Judges shall prescribe
uniform statewide presumptive guidelines for the computation of child support obligations,
including retroactive support obligations, of each parent as provided in Chapter 50 or
NC General Statutes - Chapter 50 Article 1 15
elsewhere in the General Statutes and shall develop criteria for determining when, in a
particular case, application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. The purpose
of the guidelines and criteria shall be to ensure that payments ordered for the support of a
minor child are in such amount as to meet the reasonable needs of the child for health,
education, and maintenance, having due regard to the estates, earnings, conditions,
accustomed standard of living of the child and the parties, the child care and homemaker
contributions of each party, and other facts of the particular case. The guidelines shall
include a procedure for setting child support, if any, in a joint or shared custody
arrangement which shall reflect the other statutory requirements herein. NCGA 50-13.4 Periodically, but at least once every four years, the Conference of Chief District Judges
shall review the guidelines to determine whether their application results in appropriate
child support award amounts. The Conference may modify the guidelines accordingly. The
Conference shall give the Department of Health and Human Services, the Administrative
Office of the Courts, and the general public an opportunity to provide the Conference with
information relevant to the development and review of the guidelines. Any modifications
of the guidelines or criteria shall be reported to the General Assembly by the
Administrative Office of the Courts before they become effective by delivering copies to
the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The guidelines, when adopted or modified, shall be provided to the Department of Health
and Human Services and the Administrative Office of the Courts, which shall disseminate
them to the public through local IV-D offices, clerks of court, and the media.
(d) In non-IV-D cases, payments for the support of a minor child shall be ordered to
be paid to the person having custody of the child or any other proper person, agency,
organization or institution, or to the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit,
for the benefit of the child. In IV-D cases, payments for the support of a minor child shall
be ordered to be paid to the State Child Support Collection and Disbursement Unit for the
benefit of the child.
(d1) For child support orders initially entered on or after January 1, 1994, the
immediate income withholding provisions of G.S. 110-136.5(c1) shall apply. NCGA 50-13.4 (e) Payment for the support of a minor child shall be paid by lump sum payment,
periodic payments, or by transfer of title or possession of personal property of any interest
therein, or a security interest in or possession of real property, as the court may order. The
court may order the transfer of title to real property solely owned by the obligor in payment
of arrearages of child support so long as the net value of the interest in the property being
transferred does not exceed the amount of the arrearage being satisfied. In every case in
which payment for the support of a minor child is ordered and alimony or postseparation
support is also ordered, the order shall separately state and identify each allowance.
(e1) In IV-D cases, the order for child support shall provide that the clerk shall
transfer the case to another jurisdiction in this State if the IV-D agency requests the transfer
on the basis that the obligor, the custodian of the child, and the child do not reside in the
jurisdiction in which the order was issued. The IV-D agency shall provide notice of the
transfer to the obligor by delivery of written notice in accordance with the notice
requirements of Chapter 1A-1, Rule 5(b) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The clerk shall
NC General Statutes - Chapter 50 Article 1 16
transfer the case to the jurisdiction requested by the IV-D agency, which shall be a
jurisdiction in which the obligor, the custodian of the child, or the child resides. Nothing
in this subsection shall be construed to prevent a party from contesting the transfer. NCGA 50-13.4 (f) Remedies for enforcement of support of minor children shall be available as
(1) The court may require the person ordered to make payments for the
support of a minor child to secure the payments by means of a bond,
mortgage or deed of trust, or any other means ordinarily used to secure
an obligation to pay money or transfer property, or by requiring the
execution of an assignment of wages, salary or other income due or to
(2) If the court requires the transfer of real or personal property or an interest
therein as provided in subsection (e) of this section as a part of an order
for payment of support for a minor child, or for the securing thereof, the
court may also enter an order which shall transfer title as provided in G.S.
1A-1, Rule 70 and G.S. 1-228.
(3) The remedy of arrest and bail, as provided in Article 34 of Chapter 1 of
the General Statutes, shall be available in actions for child-support
payments as in other cases.
(4) The remedies of attachment and garnishment, as provided in Article 35
of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, shall be available in an action for
child-support payments as in other cases, and for such purposes the child
or person bringing an action for child support shall be deemed a creditor
of the defendant. Additionally, in accordance with the provisions of G.S.
110-136, a continuing wage garnishment proceeding for wages due or to
become due may be instituted by motion in the original child support
proceeding or by independent action through the filing of a petition.
(5) The remedy of injunction, as provided in Article 37 of Chapter 1 of the
General Statutes and G.S. 1A-1, Rule 65, shall be available in actions for
child support as in other cases.
(6) Receivers, as provided in Article 38 of Chapter 1 of the General Statutes,
may be appointed in actions for child support as in other cases.
(7) A minor child or other person for whose benefit an order for the payment
of child support has been entered shall be a creditor within the meaning
of Article 3A of Chapter 39 of the General Statutes pertaining to voidable
(8) Except as provided in Article 15 of Chapter 44 of the General Statutes, a
judgment for child support shall not be a lien against real property unless
the judgment expressly so provides, sets out the amount of the lien in a
sum certain, and adequately describes the real property affected; but past
due periodic payments may by motion in the cause or by a separate action
be reduced to judgment which shall be a lien as other judgments and may
include provisions for periodic payments.
NC General Statutes - Chapter 50 Article 1 17 NCGA 50-13.4 (9) An order for the periodic payments of child support or a child support
judgment that provides for periodic payments is enforceable by
proceedings for civil contempt, and disobedience may be punished by
proceedings for criminal contempt, as provided in Chapter 5A of the
Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 1-294, an order for the
payment of child support which has been appealed to the appellate
division is enforceable in the trial court by proceedings for civil contempt
during the pendency of the appeal. Upon motion of an aggrieved party,
the court of the appellate division in which the appeal is pending may stay
any order for civil contempt entered for child support until the appeal is
decided, if justice requires.
(10) The remedies provided by Chapter 1 of the General Statutes, Article 28,
Execution; Article 29B, Execution Sales; and Article 31, Supplemental
Proceedings, shall be available for the enforcement of judgments for child
support as in other cases, but amounts so payable shall not constitute a
debt as to which property is exempt from execution as provided in Article
16 of Chapter 1C of the General Statutes.
(11) The specific enumeration of remedies in this section shall not constitute
a bar to remedies otherwise available.
(g) An individual who brings an action or motion in the cause for the support of a
minor child, and the individual who defends the action, shall provide to the clerk of the
court in which the action is brought or the order is issued, the individual's social security
(h) Child support orders initially entered or modified on and after October 1, 1998,
shall contain the name of each of the parties, the date of birth of each party, and the court
docket number. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall transmit to the Department
of Health and Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Program, on a timely basis, the
information required to be included on orders under this subsection and the social security
number of each party as required under subsection (g) of this section. (1967, c. 1153, s. 2;
1969, c. 895, s. 17; 1975, c. 814; 1977, c. 711, s. 26; 1979, c. 386, s. 10; 1981, c. 472; c.
613, ss. 1, 3; 1983, c. 54; c. 530, s. 1; 1985, c. 689, s. 17; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1016;
1989, c. 529, ss. 1, 2; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1067, s. 2; 1993, c. 335, s. 1; c. 517, s. 5;
1995, c. 319, s. 9; c. 518, s. 1; 1997-433, ss. 2.1(a), 2.2, 4.4, 7.1; 1997-443, ss. 11A.118(a),
11A.122; 1998-17, s. 1; 1998-176, s. 1; 1999-293, ss. 3, 4; 1999-456, s. 13; 2001-237, s.
1; 2003-288, s. 1; 2008-12, s. 1; 2012-20, s. 2; 2014-77, s. 8; 2014-115, s. 37; 2015-23, s.