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Child Support

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"To consistently collect as much child support money as possible for the benefit of North Carolina's children."


In 1975, federal law required that all states establish programs to aid in the establishment and collection of child support to ensure that both parents support their children. The North Carolina Child Support Enforcement program is administered by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services. The Chatham County Child Support Enforcement office is a unit within the Chatham County Department of Social Services.

The program offers assistance in the areas of: Location of non-custodial parents; Paternity establishment for children born out of wedlock; Establishment of support obligations; Collection and distribution of support; Enforcement of support obligations. The Child Support Enforcement program is not authorized to assist with some issues that may seem similar to child support, such as custody, visitation or property settlements. A private attorney should be contacted to discuss these concerns.

Services are available to anyone who is responsible for a child, regardless of income. Families who receive Work First are automatically referred to the child support program. Cooperation with our program is a condition of eligibility for continued Work First assistance. If you are not a recipient of Work First, you may apply for services by completing an application and paying a $25.00 application fee. 


Chatham County Department of Social Services
Child Support Enforcement
P.O. Box 489
Pittsboro, NC 27312

Location : 102 Camp Drive , Pittsboro              

Phone#: (919) 542-2759
Fax#: (919) 542-6494

Business Hours: 8am - 5pm
Lunch: 12:30pm - 1:00pm



The Child Support Enforcement Unit can help locate the non-custodial parent who is absent from the home and has a financial obligation to support children. Child support staff uses local, state, and federal sources to find a non-custodial parent such as NC Department of Driver's Licenses, NC Department of Motor Vehicles, NC Employment Security Commission, NC Department of Corrections, NC Vital Statistics, Federal Inmate Locator, NC Employment Security Commission, and the Wildlife Commission.


Establishing paternity means a person named as the father of a child has been legally determined to be the father. Establishment of paternity is necessary only when the mother is not married to the father of the child. Paternity must be determined legally before a child support order can be established. There are several ways that paternity may be established. A brief explanation of each of them is listed below.

Hospital-Based Paternity: North Carolina provides the opportunity for a father to acknowledge paternity at the time of a child's birth. This is a simple procedure whereby parents sign the Affidavit of Parentage form in the hospital. This allows the father's name to be placed on the birth certificate, and also serves as a legal acknowledgment of paternity. This Affidavit of Parentage is filed with the State Registrar (Vital Records) and legally declares the paternity of your child.

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity: If you did not establish paternity at the time of birth, you may choose to do so at a later date. The mother and father sign documents acknowledging they are the parents of a child. These signed statements are presented to the court and an Order of Paternity is entered. This legally establishes paternity for a child.

Genetic Testing: If there are any doubts regarding the paternity of a child, you should not sign any paternity declaration documents. Genetic tests can be performed to determine the paternity of a child. These tests will show that a man is not the father of a child or indicates the probability that he is the child's father. The test results provide reliable information to aid parents and judges in parentage determinations.

Court-Ordered Paternity Establishment: If the parents do not agree to voluntarily establish paternity, legal action may be filed with the court to establish paternity for a child. After all evidence is presented, a judge will decide if paternity should be ordered.


A support obligation is established based on the needs of the child and parents' ability to provide support. Mandatory guidelines are used in the North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Program in order to compute a child support obligation based on the combined gross income of the custodial and non-custodial parent. The absent parent may either voluntarily agree to an amount of support, or the obligation can be established through court proceedings.
Support NC Children

The Child Support Enforcement Unit will decide on the best way to collect the child support ordered to be paid by the absent parent. All new or modified child support orders must contain a provision for income withholding to take effect immediately. If this is not possible, the local child support enforcement agency is responsible for any follow-up action that may include court proceedings and the interception of the absent parent's state and/or federal income tax refunds.


When a non-custodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the child support enforcement unit may utilize one or more of the following remedies:

  • Request immediate wage withholding
  • Refer the case for intercept of federal and state income tax refunds
  • Refer the past-due support debt to credit reporting agencies
  • File a contempt of court action
  • File a lien on real or personal property
  • Request the suspension or revocation of a professional license or a driver's licenses