A child support case in North Carolina or any other state can have one of four designations. Each label begins with "IV" in reference to Title IV of the Social Security Act of 1975. If a case has an IV-D label, it means that a parent has asked for help from the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Cases with a non-IV-D designation involve parents who receive support without seeking such assistance.
IV-A and IV-E cases involve those who are receiving public assistance in some form. In an IV-A case, the custodial parent is getting public assistance directly, and the OCSE is seeking to defray costs by collecting from the non-custodial parent.
When a child is being cared for by another relative or is in the foster system, the OCSE may also wish to track down the non-custodial parent for payment. Children who are cared for by a guardian other than a mother or father are grouped under the IV-E label. It is possible for a child support matter to be classified under more than one designation over time. This is because the financial resources of a parent may change. It is also not unheard of for a non-custodial parent to stop making child support payments, which means he or she needs to be compelled to do so.
The best interests of the child is the top priority in any case involving a minor. Therefore, parents who are ordered to pay child support may be in legal trouble if they fail to do so. A non-custodial parent may face financial penalties for failing to make payments in a timely manner. If a parent is struggling to keep up with a support obligation, a lawyer could help obtain a modification to an existing order.