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How Can I Stop My Ex From Getting a Credit Card Using Our Child


How Can I Stop My Ex From Getting a Credit Card Using Our Child

In our practice at Maginnis Law, we have seen identity theft in almost every context, including divorce and child custody, and we can work with your family law attorney to protect you. For example, one of the growing areas of identity theft involves minor children. A study in 2011 by Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab involving more than 42,000 minors found that about 10 percent of children are victims of identity theft before they turn 18.

The following is an article written by NC Board Certified family law specialist, Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law, on how to freeze your child’s credit.

How can I stop my ex from getting a credit card using our child’s name and social security number?

When a minor is the victim of identity theft, the crime can go undetected for years. Typically, the problem is not discovered until the child tries to buy their first car, or get financial aid for college.   In a divorce, people are often scrambling for money.   An unscrupulous parent might get a credit card in their child’s name, perhaps even intending to pay back the funds without anyone being the wiser.  But if the account is not paid, the child’s credit can be destroyed, costing time, money and frustration to correct. States have started to pass legislation to address this issue.   In August 2015, North Carolina passed a law that allows a parent to place a credit freeze on their child’s credit report.   A credit freeze can prevent loans or credit cards from being obtained illegally in the child’s name.

The child has to be under the age of 16 at the time the request for a credit freeze is submitted.  There are three credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. The parent has to contact all three bureaus to prevent the fraud.

Each agency can charge up to $5.00 per child. The fee may be waived if:

your child has been a victim of identity theft

your child already has a credit report on file with the bureau.

You will find the instructions and forms needed to place a credit freeze on your child’s credit report with TransUnion here:

For Equifax:—protected-consumer-%2F-minor

And Experian:

You can read more about this issue at the N.C. Department of Justice website at

If you have questions about your custody case, or other legal issues, the attorneys at Averett Family Law are here to help.