North Carolina Child Support Services

Program Fees and Policies

Program Fees
  • 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 percent 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 $35 fee after at least $550 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.

Program Distribution
  • 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 support.

  • 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.

Other Program Policies & Information
  • Disclosure of SSN -Social security numbers are obtained and kept on file at the local child support agency to locate and identify individual's assets for the purposes of establishing, modifying and enforcing child support obligations. Enrolling a child in health care coverage may require the release of the child's social security number and mailing address to the other parent's employer, or the release of the child's social security number to the other parent.

  • Confidentiality - Child support case records are not public records. The information in your case may be discussed with or given to other state child support services, and/or other public agencies that can legally receive such information and to the other parent or his/her attorney to the extent required by law. If the local child support agency is notified that family/domestic violence is an issue, the local child support agency must take additional steps to further safeguard information.

  • Nondiscrimination -In accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, NCCSS ensures that all individuals are treated equally, and that no person is discriminated against in the selection or eligibility to receive services in any manner prohibited by law.

  • Intergovernmental Cases - Federal law requires every state to enact the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) 2008 to aid states in working together to establish and enforce child support orders. Every state, and many tribes, foreign countries, territories or tribunals have an agency to enforce child support orders. If parents do not live in the same state, although laws differ, child support agencies work with each other to locate parents and to establish and enforce orders.

  • Case Management Decisions - Local child support agencies determine the appropriate services for child support cases, as well as the way services are delivered by the agency. Reasonable and necessary actions to best serve your case will be considered; however, specific time frames or results cannot be guaranteed.