Child Support

Child support, custody, divorce are separate issues to the court. You would not have been granted child support at the time of absolut divorce unless you filed for it. You can file for child support at any time. If you signed a paper during separation waiving your right to child support or seek support in the future then you can not file. If you never signed anything of that nature then you should file. I believe that the support would be retro to the time of separation or possibly divorce.
I want to commend you for doing whatever it takes to make sure your child is taken care of and to ensure a relationship with her father. It’s understandable that after a while, some support would help make life a little easier and you should not feel bad or guilty for attempting to get the support you deserve.
If you know approximately what your ex makes, run the calculator on the home site and see what he should be paying based on income, number of overnights with each of you, insurance cost and daycare…
Good Luck!


Thank you very much for the information. Should I contact the Child Support Enforcement Agency or should I hire an attorney to file the required paperwork?

I just went through CSE and we had our establishment hearing last night. You can just call them and their lawyer will do all of it (after you meeting with CSE). The only downfall is that you won’t talk to the lawyer before you are actually called up to establish the support. Because mine was filed in April, the support was retroactive to May 1. We aren’t divorced yet, but they did not go back til the time of Separation, just the date of the filing of the child support hearing. I wouldn’t hire a lawyer for just this, unless there are other issues. They also ordered him to pay 1/2 of the extensive, non-covered medical bills.

Good luck.

I don’t think you are going to get retro child support. You can only get it from the date you ask for it. I you haven’t asked then you can’t get it (the back child support). Yes you should get an attorney and let him do the paper work for you. If you ask for child support and he refuses to pay, your Ex can be saddled with not only child support, but attorney’s fees too.


With CSE will I actually have to show up for court? I’m a very shy person and I’m not a big fan of having to talk in front of a bunch of strangers.[xx(]

Yes, you can file for child support at any time and they will represent you in court.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

I was terrified at the thought of having to go to court, mainly because I couldn’t stand to see my STBX again (he has been quite abusive). Anyway, I was told that whether CSE or a lawyer represent you (or you represent yourself), you have to go to the first hearing, which is for establishment (the amount). In Mecklenburg county, you don’t even see the judge (unless it’s demanded, and even my prone to fight STBX didn’t demand it), so you just sit at a table with the CSE attorney, who enters all the information (same info as on the calculator here) and gives you the amount. That was it. Took about 2 hours, but there seemed to be a lot of people there. The actual time we were talking to anyone was about 3 minutes.

If you go through CSE, they do the same thing that would be done for support as an attorney would do. The attorney for CSE actually represents you and your case, so you really do have an attorney. It cost $25 to do it this way, and your support will be sent to CSE, so you don’t have to worry about collecting it. They even told my STBX that his paycheck would be deducted for the amount by July 1, without me asking for that.

Good luck. Let me know if you need anything else.

Thank you very much. [:)]

went through an “absolute” divorce and represented myself in court. My ex-husband didn’t even show up at court. At the time I filed the divorce I didn’t ask for child support for my 14 year old daughter. I was just glad to get away from my ex-husband. That was 2 years ago and now that times are getting hard I’m thinking about going to the NC Child Support Enforcement office and filing for child support. Since the divorce me and my family have been taking care of my daughter with absolutely no help from my ex. I make sure that my daughter spends time with her father. I’ve been driving back and forth to take her to spend at least 2 weekends a month with her dad and her father still won’t provide her any financial support. He doesn’t help with school clothes, basketball camps or anything else that she may need. I even make sure her cell phone bill is paid so my ex can contact her whenever he gets ready. I’ve never asked him for any support because I know I won’t get a dime from him voluntarily. My ex has worked for the City of Raleigh for some years now, so I know he can do better by supporting my daughter. He just choses not to. I’m on a fixed income (SS Disability) and times are getting tough. Now, I need help financially.

Can I file for child support now even though support wasn’t granted during my absolute divorce?