Child Support & Jurisdiction


My husband and I are currently separated. We lived in NC together for one year, but I have been living in Massachusetts with our son for over 6 months now. (He is fully aware, and didn’t give me any problems). I’ve been staying with my parents, and have just secured a job and we’ll be moving into our own apartment next month. My husband has been very cooperative with paying the child support amount determined by his military job, so we haven’t filed any paperwork such as a separation agreement or anything to put the child support in writing.
My husband has expressed interest in filing the divorce in NC, and based on the online state calculator - his child support requirement would decrease. However, I’ve contacted a lawyer up here and he mentioned that since I have been living in MA with our son that even if the divorce is filed in NC, it would likely be that the child support would be calculated based on the state in which the child resides to reflect the actual cost of living, but he recommended I check to make sure what the NC laws are. Is that the case?
Thank you!


North Carolina child support guidelines do not take the specific standard of living of some geographical location into consideration, but uses the income of the parties to determine the child suport obligation. Even in North Carolina, there is a vast difference between the cost of living in rural v. urban areas.

Jurisdiction over another party for child support proceedings is not based on where the child(ren) live(s), and is not necessarily the same place as jurisdiction for custody. You can refer to the statute for more information.

52C‑2‑201. Bases for jurisdiction over nonresident.

In a proceeding to establish, enforce, or modify a support order or to determine parentage, a tribunal of this State may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual’s guardian or conservator if:

(1) The individual is personally served with a summons and complaint within this State;

(2) The individual submits to the jurisdiction of this State by consent, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction;

(3) The individual resided with the child in this State;

(4) The individual resided in this State and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child;

(5) The child resides in this State as a result of the acts or directives of the individual;

(6) The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this State and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse;

(7) The individual asserted paternity in an affidavit which has been filed with the clerk of superior court; or

(8) There is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of this State and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction. (1995, c. 538, s. 7©.)