Child Support and Custody Modification in North Carolina

Motion to Modify Child Support and Custody are required in North Carolina

New case law establishes that a motion to modify must be filed prior to modifying any permanent order of the court.  This effects child support modification.  Here are a few things you should know:

How a Child Support or Custody Order becomes Permanent:

Initially, Child Support and Custody orders are temporary in nature.  A temporary order establishes visitation or support until the parties can complete discovery, hire an attorney, or address other issues.  A temporary order can become permanent after a period of one to two years, depending on case specifics.  For custody, the parties may enter into a parenting agreement through mediation or have a permanent custody trial.  Parties may also agree that their order will be permanent.

What does a Permanent Order mean?

A permanent order can only be modified under statutorily approved circumstances.  In Custody, the parties must show a substantial change of circumstances and then what is in the best interest of the child.  In child support, an order can be reviewed every three years, the increase or decrease of income by 15%, or a change in visitation.

What does this mean for child support orders?

The court does not have jurisdiction to modify a permanent order without a Motion to Modify being filed.  Any subsequent orders can be set aside by a judge.  The original order remains in effect.

What this does not mean?

Follow your court orders until court.  Pay your child support.  Follow the custody order.  Its best to seek permission rather than beg forgiveness.

You can read the case here:

Scroll to Top