3 state confusion

"An action for child support (either an initial declaration or modification) must be brought in either the county where the parent or the child resides or in the county where the child is physically present."
I think this means that the papers must be registered here since this is where you and your children live. I’m not sure it can be registered in Fla.

"Absent an exception, child support terminates in North Carolina when a child reaches the age of eighteen. The two most important exceptions to this rule, for all orders entered on or after October 1, 1993, are that: 1) when a child is otherwise emancipated prior to age 18, payments terminate at that time, and 2) “[i]f the child is still in primary or secondary school when the child reaches 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reaches age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation.” The other statutory exception to the rule against post-minority support applies to a child who is incapable of self-support. For such a child, the obligation of child support continues until the child is no longer physically or mentally incapable of supporting him- or herself."
This means that when you register it, your ex only has to pay until age 18 or graduating HIGH SCHOOL. If your child is still in high school until the age of 20 then the ex must pay until age 20 or graduation. If your child quits school, moves out on their own (emancipates), does not look like they are going to graduate before age 18 the ex can stop payments. In NC, unless there is a provision in the final agreement or court order for payments to continue after age 18 and graduation, the payments stop. If your court papers say “child support will be paid for the minor children”, then at 18 they are no longer minors. I’m not absolutely positive about this but I believe that since you never registered the papers, your ex was within his right to cut child support in 1/2 at age 18 of one child. If you register the papers, he may have to pay you back pay from when he cut the payments but only until the child graduates from high school.
Hopefully, an attorney will respond on this.

The child support guidelines can continue support until a child is age 20, if they are still in high school. It does not mean it continues if they are out of high school, but in college. You can register your TN order here and the court will enforce it, however, your ex could move to modify it based on the laws of this state.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Our divorce and custody was done in 1990, in TN. I have lived in NC since that same year, my ex lived here also off and on with the military. We have never had a problem with support not being paid or anything. The court papers say “child support will be paid for minor children” no age limit, no seperation of the two kids.
Last year my oldest turned 18 so my ex cut his payments in half with out going to court. (by the way he has lived in Fla for years now)
I never registered our court papers here, but I have been looking into what to do. I can’t afford a lawyer so I talked to child support enforcement they said that they would have to register the case in Fla and then it would be under Fla laws. Fla child support guidelines are very different from NC.
While I’ve been looking into all this my ex calls and says he will pay me the full amount again if I will call of the child support enforcement thing. He thinks he would have to come here and fight it and doesn’t want to do that. Can I register the court order from TN here?
I’m worried about later my ex thinks he’ll only pay till this one is 18 which is next year but NC guidelines say as long as he’s a student it goes until he’s 21…
Fla goes with the age 18…
I’m confused and I don’t want to get child support enforcement involved if this would mess us up later.