Child support and modifications in North Carolina

Child Custody & Support
Child support and modifications in North Carolina

Parents are required to financially support their children until they turn 18, except in limited circumstances. Child support provides for the child’s health, education and maintenance needs.

In North Carolina, a parent can file for child support in the county where the child lives or is physically present or in the county where the parent resides. Once a child support action is filed, the other parent must be served with a copy of the complaint and then he or she has 30 days to file an answer.

The parent who is entitled to child support should bring documentation of expenses paid on behalf of the child. These might include day care receipts and medical bills, for example. The parent should also bring proof of his or her income.

Parents who will be paying support should bring proof of income and documentation of payments he or she has made to the other parent for the child. These might include proof of payment for clothing, diapers, groceries and other items.


When parents have a child support order, sometimes situations arise where it needs to be changed. This change is referred to as a modification.

Child support orders can be modified every three years or when there has been a substantial change in circumstances. These circumstances may include a change of income.

Parents can file a motion for modification and a judge will hold a hearing to review the motion, however parents will be required to provide documentation to support the request to modify the child support order.

An experienced attorney can help parents with child support questions and related family law matters.