NC Fathers Rights

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support In NC?

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support In NCNC Fathers noticed that there has been many searches lately for the keywords “Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support In NC” lately so we figured it was time to answer this question. Keep in mind that WE ARE NOT LAWYERS, AND NOTHING IN THIS ARTICLE CONSTITUTES LEGAL ADVICE. FOR LEGAL ADVICE, CONTACT AN ATTORNEY. Before answering the question about going to jail for not paying child support, we want to tell you more about our organization. NC Fathers is an organization of non-custodial parents, grandparents, step-parents, and aunts and uncles who seek changes in the NC Family Courts and with Social Services agencies to bring about equally shared parenting so that these families can have a meaningful relationship with their children, instead of the historical marginilization of these families as 5 day a month visitors. We ask that you review our GOALS, consider joining our MAILING LIST, and join us on FACEBOOK. If you are the impatient type, the answer to “Can I go to jail for not paying child support in NC” is YES. Not only YES, but it is VERY likely because child support is a hot button issue that brings Judges, Sheriffs, and Politicians a lot of praise from special interest groups that focus on child support. To learn more about the history of child support from our perspective, and how jail is related, please thoroughly read the related posts below.

Posts related to “Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying Child Support In NC” – NC Child Support Enforcement, NC Domestic Violence, Social Services (Catawba County Related, But Applies to All 100 Social Services Agencies in NC)

THIS IS IMPORTANT: NC Fathers belief is that you should not be paying child support to a federal agency, or going to jail for not paying child support. We think that you should be supporting your child when you have them near equal, or equal amount of time that you SHOULD have them. The problem is in NC it is rare for a Judge to even allow you to have near equal time with your kids. To learn WHY, please click on the RED and BLUE graphic below. If you are a non-custodial parent who DOES NOT WANT equal time with your children (meaning you KNOW you have children), or you have no desire to see your children, then we support you going to jail for not paying child support. For inability to pay child support, see below.

Judge, courts, nc

Learn more about why you can go to jail for not paying child support in nc

jail support

The problem with going to jail for not paying child support is that it solves nothing. It is not productive for children to visit a father in jail. In jail you cannot work, therefore you can’t make money to pay child support. It usually results in LOSING employment which clearly does not solve the problem.  Going to jail for not paying child support has but two benefits: 1) I looks very good politically for a Sheriff, Judge, or Politician to hold up the head of a father and beat his/her chest, which absolutely tickles the special interest groups that lobby on behalf of child support, which causes them to support re-election campaigns. 2) Judges, Politicians, and Sheriffs know that being in jail for child support arrears causes social ostracization which they think results in scaring you to death, but really leads to further contempt and problems.

Why all the fuss about child support and jail? Instead of putting you in jail for not paying child support, wouldn’t it make more sense to give you equal parentage and access to your kids, which brings about more opportunities and resources for NC children than jail does? Rationally, it does, but that is not the goal. The goal has more to do with politics, money, power, and votes.

Did you know that for every dollar collected in child support, the federal government gives the State of NC one dollar that they can use to replenish money that goes to TANF, Food Stamps, and Welfare? In short, the State of NC has no incentive for you having equal parentage of your children, they want the federal dollars. The best way to get those federal dollars is to decrease the amount of time you have with your children, so that you pay more child support, which triggers greater federal dollars. If this means ostracizing you socially, then so be it.

County Jail

The other problem here is that many fathers do not even know that they have fathered a child, and may not learn about the child (sometimes ten years later) until handcuffs are placed on them. It is perfectly legal, and very customary for a mother in NC to not even tell a father about the birth of his child, then ten years later seek BACK CHILD SUPPORT, that always is in the tens of thousands of dollars range. Certainly few people can pay back child support of tens of thousands of dollars, so its off to jail you go. And boy do Sheriffs love this, it looks GREAT at election time to post the head of a “Deadbeat Dad” who is behind on child support by $20,000 like he even knew.

Another issue rarely discussed by Judges, Sheriffs, and Politicians, is that there are people on this earth who do not make a lot of money and simply cannot pay. Fathers do not have the luxury of abortion, safe haven laws, and adoption at their disposal. Nothing pisses us off more than watching fathers go to jail for inability to pay child support, when custodial mothers are ALWAYS given educational assistance, financial assistance, housing assistance, medical assistance, and increasing tax incentives when they can’t make financial ends meet.

Again, if you identify with this article on Going To Jail For Not Paying Child Support in NC, then we encourage you to join us on FACEBOOK and help us build a lobby of non-custodial families in NC who want to end this abuse, and bring NC children a system where the State of NC strengthens BOTH parents for the greater good of children, instead of building one parent up and demoralizing the other.

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September 10, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Well said and a sad but true commentary on the state of mind of our local government and law enforcement agencies.


    Comment by Mark | September 16, 2012 | Reply

  2. Man ordered to pay more than 100% of his income, another father goes to jail…


    Comment by Navin R. Johnson | July 25, 2013 | Reply

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