Enforcing Child Support Orders

Child support money

The establishment of an order does not guarantee that parents will pay. Once the parent falls behind on payments, the case is identified for enforcement actions. Many attempts are made to negotiate compliance or to seek remedies that address the non-payment of support. Children and families suffer when a parent willfully fails to pay support. 


How Are Support Orders Enforced?

Wage Garnishment

Income withholding by employers is the most effective method of child support collection. The employer deducts specified amounts each pay period and sends payments to the NC Child Support Centralized Collections within seven days of the deduction. Income withholdings can also be initiated from other related sources: unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, Social Security benefits, and veteran’s disability benefits.

Other Non-Court Remedies

  • Credit bureau reporting 
  • Tax refund intercept 
  • Bank account levy 
  • Insurance settlement collection 
  • Lottery winnings intercept 
  • Professional or wildlife license suspension 
  • Passport Revocation 

Civil and/or Criminal Court Actions

Depending upon the severity of the delinquency, civil or criminal court actions may be pursued. During these hearings, the judge can require the non-custodial parent to make a lump sum payment if it is determined that the parent has the means to pay but willfully refuses to do so.  In extreme cases, the revocation of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license or incarceration is possible.