About Child Support
Services Provided by Gaston County Child Support
- Locating a child's parent to establish paternity or support
- Establishing paternity of a child
- Establishing child support obligations
- Enforce support orders
- Collect and distribute the money that is collected
Locating Non-custodial Parents
Before we can establish paternity or support we must know where the non-custodial parent is living or working. If neither the residence nor the employer of the non- custodial parent is known, our computer system begins interfacing with other state and federal programs looking for the non-custodial parent. Some of these programs are Department of Motor vehicle, Employment Security Commission, N.C. Wildlife commission, IRS, Food stamps, Medicaid, Work First, Financial Institutes, Department
of Corrections, and others.
To help locate the non-custodial parent, we need as much information that you have on him of her. Ex: Old addresses, phone numbers, date of birth, social security number, current or previous employers, relatives of friends.
Establishing Paternity is the process for determining a child's Legal Father. If parents are not married to each other when the child is born, the child does not have a legal father until paternity is established. Establishing paternity puts the father's name on the birth certificate.
There are several ways to establish paternity. They are married, voluntary
Acknowledgement of Paternity (signed at the hospital, clerk of court or our office), and Court Order (signed by a Judge).
Establishing a Child Support Obligation
This can be done by Voluntary Support Agreement or a Court Order. If the non-custodial parent agrees to N.C. Child Support Guidelines, he or she can sign a consent agreement in our office. It will be signed by a District Court Judge and filed in the Clerk of Court. If the non-custodial parent will not sign the consent agreement, then a civil complaint will be filed, a court date given and all parties will need to appear in front of a District Court Judge.
Child support is based on the N.C. Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines can be found at NCCHILDSUPPORT.COM.
Enforcement of Child Support Obligation
Enforcement of an Order can be obtained through several remedies. A few of the remedies available to Child Support Enforcement is below:
Wage Withholding: Once a Non-custodial parent is under an order, we will serve his employer with an Order for Wage Withholding. The employer is then under an Order to withhold the Child Support from his or her wages, and mail the money to Raleigh.
Legal Action: Once the non-custodial parent is in arrears of at least 30 days, Child Support Enforcement can issue an Order to Show cause or other legal documents ordering the non-custodial parent into court. At this time the non-custodial parent may be facing contempt charges which could lead to jail time.
Tax and financial levy: Once a non-custodial parent owes back child support more than a certain amount, his tax refunds can be intercepted, his bank account can be seized to pay his or her back child support owed.
Registration of Support Order: We can register an order from N.C. in another state and ask that state to enforce our order. Also we can register an order from another state in N.C. to enforce.
Collecting and Distribution of Money
All child support is sent to N.C. Centralized Collections in Raleigh. Once Raleigh receives money, it is credited to the non-custodial parents account and from there the money is distributed to all his or her cases. Once the money has reached case level, the money is then disbursed to the client of each case. This is less than a 24 hour process.