DSS-4451 (rev. 06/17)
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North Carolina Child Support Services (NCCSS) administers the North Carolina child support program under Title IV-D of the Social
Security Act. Services are available to a parent, alleged fathers, non-parent caretakers, minor children, social services agencies, and
judicial officials. The child support program’s goal is to provide the best possible services to families for children. Whether you are
making an application for child support services as a recipient of assistance from other social services programs (Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families [TANF], Foster Care and/or Medicaid) or requesting child support services as a non-public assistance
applicant, your involvement, information, and contributions are important and required.
NORTH CAROLINA CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES INFORMATION
NCCSS provide child support services to assist families in meeting their financial obligations for children. There is no residency or
citizenship eligibility requirement for services. Depending on the circumstances of each family, one or more of the following
services may be appropriate:
• Location of noncustodial parent – State, federal, local and national resources are used to assist in collecting information
about a parent, such as their residence, employment and/or financial assets.
• Paternity establishment – A determination of parental legal responsibility for the child(ren) is necessary before a parent
can be required to pay support. If a child’s parents were not married to each other at the time of the child’s birth,
arrangement of paternity testing may be offered to the parties, if appropriate.
• Support establishment – In North Carolina, support is determined using the guidelines established in State law. N.C. Child
Support Guidelines consider both parent’s monthly gross incomes, the amount of time the child spends with each parent
and various expenses. NCCSS seeks to establish a court order requiring a parent to provide child and/or medical support
for child(ren) based on the N.C. Child Support Guidelines.
• Collection of support – Child support payments through bank draft, money order or check are sent to N.C. Child Support
Centralized Collection (NCCSCC). A large amount of child support payments is deducted from a parent’s wages and sent to
NCCSCC by an employer. North Carolina Child Support Services records and disburses all collected child support payments
to families by personal direct deposit into a bank account or debit card.
• Enforcement of support – Enforcement of an established or existing child support, spousal support, and/or medical
support court order is met by wage withholding, tax refund offset, liens, professional license/passport revocation, credit
reporting, court action, or other collection remedies. Support orders may be reviewed for modification
(increase/decrease) every three years or more often, if warranted.
NCCSS does not provide the following services: custody, visitation, or the establishment of spousal support obligations.
• Application Fee – Families receiving public assistance (TANF, Medicaid and/or Foster Care) are not charged an application
fee for support services. Families that are not receiving public assistance are charged a non-refundable application fee of
up to $25. If the applicant’s income is below 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, a reduced application fee of $10 is
available. Contact your local child support agency for additional information about qualifying for the reduced application
fee. The application fee must be paid before support services can begin.
• Annual Services Fee – Each year, non-public assistance child support cases (cases that public assistance has never been
provided) are charged a non-refundable $25 fee after at least $500 in support payments has been paid to the family. The
annual service fee is automatically deducted from support payments made to the custodian, and is collected during each
federal fiscal year, from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
• Administrative Offset Fees – Department of Revenue or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fees may be deducted from the
noncustodial parent’s tax refund(s) collected for past due support before being disbursed as a support payment to the
custodial parent. The noncustodial parent is credited with the full tax refund(s) amount collected.
• Legal Fees – Agency attorney services and court fees are paid by the agency, or may be charged to the noncustodial parent
as allowed by law. There is no cost to a custodial parent for legal fees when a court action is established by the agency.
However, any costs for private legal services obtained by either parent are the parent’s responsibility.
• Distribution of Support – Support payments are disbursed in accordance with federal regulations. Support payments are
paid toward all the noncustodial parent’s current support obligations first, except for tax refund offsets which are paid
toward any state debt owed first. Support payments are deposited to an agency-issued debit card or personal bank
account. Support payments exceeding the noncustodial parent’s current support obligations are applied to any past due
• Tax Refund Offset – Support payments received from a joint tax return offset may not be distributed for up to six months.
The IRS may adjust a refund amount, which may require the custodial parent to return some or all a support payment
received from a tax refund. Tax refund offsets are applied to eligible cases annually.