Is there emergency support in NC?
Other than requesting an expedited hearing on temporary support or requesting support through a Domestic Violence Protective Order, North Carolina does not have a statute or procedure for acquiring emergency child support or emergency spousal support. Different counties may have different systems set up to ensure that families are provided for but Wake County does not have an emergency procedure set up at this time. Be mindful that it could take two to four months to have your first hearing on support. It is important to act quickly when financial help is needed. Remember that there are other state resources such as Medicaid and food stamps that are also available if you qualify. It may be hard to fathom applying for these resources but when your children need to be fed and need medical care you will be thankful that they are available. Filing through Child Support Enforcement may sometimes be faster than using traditional methods through domestic court.
Can I Request Support as Part of a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
If you need to file for emergency protection through a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) in North Carolina you may also be able to request emergency support. You can request several forms of relief under the Domestic Violence Statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-3). The first form of relief is to keep possession of the house so that you and your children will have a place to live. Your partner will then be evicted. You can also request that your partner provide other suitable housing for you and the children if possession of the house is not possible. For example, the lease on your home is about to expire. You can also request possession of a vehicle(s) or for possession of other personal property. The court will rarely order that your partner make payments on the house or the vehicle but at least you will have possession in the interim. You can also request child support and spousal support as part of your request for a Domestic Violence Protective Order. Again, the court rarely enters child support or spousal support awards as a part of a DVPO. You will need to be prepared that you could go for some time without any support and you will need to have a backup plan to make ends meet. That being said, definitely request some sort of support when you are asking the judge for relief. Whether support will be granted will depend on the judge and the county but it is allowed pursuant to North Carolina law under North Carolina General Statute 50B-3.
A creative way to be awarded support through a Domestic Violence Protective Order is through the entry of a consent order. Your partner will have to consent to its’ entry and you both will have to work out the terms, including support terms, but if agreed upon and once signed by the judge, it becomes an official court order with as much force and effect as if you went to hearing.