Article 2.

Expedited Process for Child Support Cases.

50-30. Findings; policy; and purpose.

(a) Findings. - The General Assembly makes the following findings:

(1) There is a strong public interest in providing fair, efficient, and swift judicial processes for establishing and enforcing child support obligations. Children are entitled to support from their parents, and court assistance is often required for the establishment and enforcement of parental support obligations. Children who do not receive support from their parents often become financially dependent on the State.

(2) The State shall have laws that meet the federal requirements on expedited processes for obtaining and enforcing child support orders for purposes of federal reimbursement under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 66(a)(2). The Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services may waive the expedited process requirement with respect to one or more district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 on the basis of the effectiveness and timeliness of support order issuance and enforcement within the district.

(3) The State has a strong financial interest in complying with the expedited process requirement, and other requirements, of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, but the State would incur substantial expense in creating statewide an expedited child support process as defined by federal law.

(4) The State's judicial system is largely capable of processing child support cases in a timely and efficient manner and has a strong commitment to an expeditious system.

(5) The substantial expense the State would incur in creating a new system for obtaining and enforcing child support orders would be reduced and better spent by improving the present system.

(b) Purpose and Policy. - It is the policy of this State to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that child support obligations are established and enforced fairly, efficiently, and swiftly through the judicial system by means that make the best use of the State's resources. It is the purpose of this Article to facilitate this policy. The Administrative Office of the Courts and judicial officials in each district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 shall make a diligent effort to ensure that child support cases, from the time of filing to the time of disposition, are handled fairly, efficiently, and swiftly. The Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Department of Health and Human Services shall work together to improve procedures for the handling of child support cases in which the State or county has an interest, including all cases that qualify in any respect for federal reimbursement under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 993, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 86; 1997-443, s. 11A.18.)