2005 North Carolina Code - General Statutes § 14-322. Abandonment and failure to support spouse and children.

Article 40.

Protection of the Family.

§ 14‑322.  Abandonment and failure to support spouse and children.

(a)       For purposes of this Article:

(1)       "Supporting spouse" means a spouse, whether husband or wife, upon whom the other spouse is actually substantially dependent or from whom such other spouse is substantially in need of maintenance and support.

(2)       "Dependent spouse" means a spouse, whether husband or wife, who is actually substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.

(b)       Any supporting spouse who shall willfully abandon a dependent spouse without providing that spouse with adequate support shall be guilty of a Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f).

(c)       Any supporting spouse who, while living with a dependent spouse, shall willfully neglect to provide adequate support for that dependent spouse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f).

(d)       Any parent who shall willfully neglect or refuse to provide adequate support for that parent's child, whether natural or adopted, and whether or not the parent abandons the child, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished according to subsection (f).  Willful neglect or refusal to provide adequate support of a child shall constitute a continuing offense and shall not be barred by any statute of limitations until the youngest living child of the parent shall reach the age of 18 years.

(e)       Upon conviction for an offense under this section, the court may make such order as will best provide for the support, as far as may be necessary, of the abandoned spouse or child, or both, from the property or labor of the defendant.  If the court requires the payment of child support, the amount of the payments shall be determined as provided in G.S. 50‑13.4(c).  For child support orders initially entered on or after January 1, 1994, the immediate income withholding provisions of G.S. 110‑136.5(c1) shall apply.

(f)        A first offense under this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.  A second or subsequent offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1868‑9, c. 209, s. 1; 1873‑4, c. 176, s. 10; 1879, c. 92; Code, s. 970; Rev., s. 3355; C.S., s. 4447; 1925, c. 290; 1949, c. 810; 1957, c. 369; 1969, c. 1045, s. 1; 1981, c. 683, s. 1; 1989, c. 529, s. 4; 1993, c. 517, s. 3, c. 539, ss. 225, 226; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

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