What is Paternity Testing (or DNA Testing)?

The procedure for obtaining scientific evidence to aid in establishing a child’s parentage. CSE agencies use extended factor genetic tests, such as human leukocyte antigens (HLA) or DNA tests to assist in determining paternity. Paternity testing requires samples of DNA from the mother, alleged father, and the child.

How long does it take to receive the results from a paternity test?

Test results are typically received from the lab within 6 weeks.

How is the child support amount determined?

Federal law requires that each state use guidelines to set the amount of child support. North Carolina’s guidelines are based on the ability of parents to pay and the needs of the children.

Can the CSE office assist me with visitation and custody issues?

No. Federal regulations and NC Law do not allow the CSE office to provide services for visitation or custody disputes. Child support and visitation rights are separate issues. For these issues, consult with a private attorney.

Where should I send my payments?

Mail your payments to:

N.C. Child Support Centralized Collections
PO Box 900006
Raleigh, NC 27675-9006 

What other ways can I make my payments?

Checks (including personal checks) and money orders through regular mail. Include your payment coupon with the payment, and write your MPI number on the check. CSE recommends that you do not send cash though the mail.
Income Withholding – Payments are deducted from your wages and sent to CSE by your employer.
Bank Draft – Payments are automatically deducted from your designated bank account. (To schedule a bank draft payment online, go to “Pay Child Support” on the eChild Support web site.)
By Credit Card at The NC Child Support Payment Processing Center Webpage.

What is an MPI number and where can I get one?

Every participant in a CSE case is assigned a Master Participant Index (MPI) number, a unique 10-digit identification number. Your MPI number appears on your payment coupons. If you do not have a payment coupon, CSE Customer Service Center at 1-800-992-9457 from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact Guilford County CSE.

After I make a payment, how soon will the other party in my case receive a check?

For Non-Public Assistance (NPA) cases, the client’s check should be mailed on the next business day after the payment was receipted. For Public Assistance cases in which a TANF check has been issued to the client, the child support check is mailed to the client at the end of the month.

I pay child support. What is the most that can be withheld each pay period from my income?

The percentage of disposable income that is withheld cannot exceed:

Forty percent (40%) of disposable income when you have only one support order
Forty-five percent (45%) of disposable income when you have multiple support orders and you are supporting a spouse or other children
Fifty percent (50%) of disposable income when you have multiple support orders and you are not supporting a spouse or other children.
However, employers can withhold an amount more than the maximum allowed by law if you provide CSE with a notarized written statement that allows a higher percentage to be withheld.

How do I know if the money is being used for my child?

NC Law does not require recipients of child support to provide an accounting of how child support is utilized. However, it is an expectation that child support is to provide housing, clothing, food, and all the essentials a child needs.

What is "tax intercept"?

CSE can intercept the federal and/or state tax refund of an obligor/noncustodial parent (NCP) who owes past due child support. For federal tax intercept, the NCP must owe at least $500 in past due child support for his/her Non-Public Assistance cases or at least $150 for Public Assistance cases. For state tax intercept, the NCP must owe at least $50 for his/her Non-Public Assistance cases.

Intercepted tax refunds are used to pay child support debt that is owed to the state first and then to pay the custodial parent/client. Custodial parents/clients cannot receive tax intercept payments unless the NCP has filed taxes and is eligible for a tax refund. NCPs might not be eligible for a tax refund if they owe past due taxes or did not pay enough taxes during their employment to qualify for a refund. Any funds that remain after the NCP’s child support debt is paid off are returned to the NCP.

Why are intercepted federal tax refunds held for six (6) months?

When the obligor/ noncustodial parent (NCP) files a joint tax return, some of that tax refund could be owed to his/her spouse. CSE puts a hold on funds from an intercepted federal tax refund for six (6) months to allow the spouse to file a claim for his/her share of the refund. If the NCP and spouse sign a notarized statement with both of their Social Security numbers that waives the spouse’s right to file a claim, CSE releases the held funds upon receipt of the affidavit.

When my child turns eighteen (18) years old, does child support stop?

In North Carolina, if the child has graduated or stopped attending high school at age eighteen (18), the noncustodial parent (NCP) can stop paying ongoing child support. However, the NCP is responsible for any arrearages that are still owed.

Can the amount I owe for child support order change?

CSE automatically reviews child support orders every three (3) years if the family is receiving public assistance. Other orders being enforced through CSE office can be reviewed every three (3) years, if either parent requests a review. A review can be requested at any time if a substantial change in circumstances occurs. CSE determines the present income and assets of both parents and the needs of the child(ren). If appropriate, CSE then can seek to modify the order.

What are the other enforcement tools that CSE has?

Other enforcement remedies include:
Filing court action against NCPs who have not paid support as ordered;
Credit bureau reporting of all child support obligations handled by CSE;
Interception of state and federal tax refunds;
Liens on real or personal property that the NCP owns.
Bank Levy
Professional license revocation