Carter was born at the Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida, where his parents ran the Garden Villa Retirement Home; the family was originally from upstate New York, where his brother Nick was born. Carter is named after his maternal grandfather Douglas “Charles” Spaulding and paternal grandfather (Aaron Charles Carter).
Aside from his older brother Nick, he also has three sisters: twin sister Angel (a model), BJ and Leslie. He also has an older half-sister named Ginger, from his father’s first marriage, and a younger half-brother, Kaden (from his father’s new marriage). He also has a younger stepsister, Taelyn, by his father’s new wife. Carter has said that the mood in his home was often tense because of his parents’ divorce. His parents would often argue about his money and Carter would often be in the middle of the fight, trying to stop it. Carter also remembers being pushed into show business when he was too young.
Carter attended the Frank D. Miles Elementary School and the Ruskin School in Florida.