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Legal Information: North Carolina

Child Support

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Laws current as of December 22, 2023

I have a child support order from another state but now I live in North Carolina. Can I enforce it in North Carolina?

Generally, there may be two ways to enforce an out-of-state support order: administratively, which means through the child support enforcement agency or through the court.

To enforce an order administratively, you would have to send certain documents to your local child support enforcement agency and they can attempt to enforce it as they would enforce a North Carolina order.1  However, the paying parent has the right to object to this. If s/he does, then the agency would have to register the order in court.2 

You also have the option to register the order in court to enforce it.  (To see what types of documents are necessary for registering an out-of-state order in a North Carolina court, please see our Selected North Carolina Statutes page, section 52C-6-602). The other parent has 20 days after receiving the notice of the registration of the order to object.  An objection would be made by filing papers in court to request a hearing if s/he thinks the child support order is not valid or that the order should not be enforced in North Carolina.  If s/he asks for a hearing, the judge has to set the case for hearing and notify all of the parties the date, time and place for the hearing.3  If the other parent does not request a hearing within 20 days, the order becomes registered, or confirmed, as it is called.4

You might want to talk with a lawyer or the child support enforcement agency in your county’s Division of Social Services to get some help and to find out exactly what documents you’d need to send in to register the order because it can be complicated.  You may also want to get a lawyer if your case is set down for a hearing.  For legal referrals, go to our NC Finding a Lawyer page.

1 NCGS § 52C-5-507(a)
2 NCGS § 52C-5-507(b)
3 NCGS § 52C-6-602(a), (c)
4 NCGS § 52C-6-602(b)