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Frequently Asked Questions
 
  1. I have just recently separated from my spouse, when can I get a divorce?
  2. Do I have to wait a year for child support and my share of our marital property?
  3. What does a separation agreement cover?
  4. Can a parent get visitation for more than every other weekend?
  5. How can I get a copy of a marriage certificate?
  6. How can I get a copy of a divorce or child support order (decree)?
  7. How can I get alimony from my soon to be ex-spouse?
  8. I just recently got a divorce, what do I need to do to change my name?
  9. I want to change my name to something else, how can I do this?
  10. How can I get child support from my child's parent?
  11. I haven't received my most recent child support payment, what can I do?
  12. I cannot pay my child support, what can I do?
  13. What can happen to me if I don't pay support?
  14. I cannot afford an attorney; can the Court appoint one for me?
  15. Someone told me that if I am held in contempt for not paying my child support then I could get a lawyer paid for by the State. Is that true?
  16. My son was arrested for not paying his support. How can he get out of jail?
  17. Can I sign up for automatic bank draft to pay my child support?
Q.I have just recently separated from my spouse, when can I get a divorce?
A.Most divorces can occur after the parties have been separated and lived apart for one year. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.Do I have to wait a year for child support and my share of our marital property?
A.No, but if you and your spouse cannot agree on child support and division of your marital property you may need to seek the advice of an attorney about a separation agreement or some other form of action.

Some actions, such as the division of marital property (equitable distribution) must take place before the divorce is granted. You should seek the advice of a lawyer before you divorce.  (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.What does a separation agreement cover?
A.Almost anything the two sides can agree to, such as how much child support is paid, who the child or children live with and how often the other parent gets visitation, who gets the house, the car, and who is responsible for what debts. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.Can a parent get visitation for more than every other weekend?
A.Generally yes, as long as both parties agree. If not, then one party will have to ask the court for an order setting the terms of visitation. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.How can I get a copy of a marriage certificate?
A.Marriage certificates are maintained by the Register of Deeds, usually in the county in which the couple lived at the time of the marriage. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.How can I get a copy of a divorce or child support order (decree)?
A.Those documents may be found in the county in which the divorce or child support action was filed. You will be charged for copying costs. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.How can I get alimony from my soon to be ex-spouse?
A.In North Carolina, alimony is not awarded in all divorce cases. You should consult a lawyer to see if you may be entitled to alimony. (Last updated on  09/04/2001 )
 
Q.I just recently got a divorce, what do I need to do to change my name?
A.To return to your maiden or a previously married name you can complete the Application/Notice of Resumption of Prior Name form (AOC SP 600), which can be obtained from the Clerk of Superior Court’s office. There is a fee for this and the clerk will not accept a check, so you may want to contact the clerk’s office beforehand to determine the procedure and how much money you will need to bring with you.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.I want to change my name to something else, how can I do this?
A.If you want to change your name for any reason, other than divorce, you will have to comply with the provisions of the North Carolina General Statutes on name changes. The AOC does not provide forms for this type of name change procedure.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.How can I get child support from my child's parent?
A.Assuming the parent does not voluntarily pay support, you can hire a lawyer to assist you in obtaining support or you can seek the assistance of your local child support enforcement (IV-D) agency . To receive IV-D assistance, you may be required to pay a $25.00 non-refundable application fee and, in certain circumstances, an annual $25.00 fee for services.  (Last updated on  01/30/2008 )
 
Q.I haven't received my most recent child support payment, what can I do?
A.If the Centralized Collection Unit is processing your payments then you should call 1.800.992-9457 or 1.877.531.1818 for more information. If your child's other parent has paid you directly, and now no longer can or will pay you child support, you may have to file a child support action. In order to do this you should contact a lawyer or your local child support enforcement agency (see above).  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.I cannot pay my child support, what can I do?
A.Simply being unwilling or unable to pay will not relieve you from your responsibility. However, in some instances, such as a disability, which prevents you from working, the court may modify the amount you have to pay. You will need to file a motion with the court and ask for a modification of your support obligation. The form to use is MOTION AND NOTICE OF HEARING FOR MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDER (AOC-CV-600).  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.What can happen to me if I don't pay support?
A.It really depends on the circumstances, but you may have your income tax refund taken or can even be arrested and held in jail until you pay what you owe. If you are unable to pay your support you should contact an attorney for assistance, or file a motion to ask the court to modify your support responsibilities. See the above question.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.I cannot afford an attorney; can the Court appoint one for me?
A.Child support cases are civil cases and there is no right to have the State pay for a lawyer in a civil case.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.Someone told me that if I am held in contempt for not paying my child support then I could get a lawyer paid for by the State. Is that true?
A.When you are at risk of being jailed for contempt, you may be entitled to a lawyer. The Judge on your day of court will advise you whether a lawyer will be appointed to represent you.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.My son was arrested for not paying his support. How can he get out of jail?
A.It depends on what the order of the judge says. Your son should have received a copy and the jail may have a copy of the commitment order.  (Last updated on  07/14/2003 )
 
Q.Can I sign up for automatic bank draft to pay my child support?
A.If you are direct pay and not under wage withholding then the answer is yes. You may sign up by going to the North Carolina eChild Support Central page by clicking this link.  (Last updated on  09/05/2003 )
 
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