Child Support And How To Keep The Government Out Of Your Bank Accounts

divorce identify theftBy Jennifer M. Paine

Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell

As mentioned in part 1 of this divorce article, if you pay child support, then the state government, the federal government, or both, will review your financial accounts using a database called the Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM).

When clients come to me for financial advice on divorce, they want to know what they can do to avoid the FIDM?

Honestly, when you have child support arrearage, not a lot, at least not legally.

You should not open convenience accounts for relatives, such as elderly family members who want you to be able to write checks for them. These accounts will be in your name, and they will be compared to the FIDM database.

You should also not falsify information to avoid a match in the database, because, once the government catches on (the database is huge and they will), you could be charged with state and federal offenses, in addition to interest and penalties for past due child support.

And if you are facing an arrearage, try to enter into an agreement with the court, the agency and the support recipient to pay those arrearages over time. Ask your court to adopt the agreement as an order.

Give a copy of the order to your financial institution, and make sure everyone knows you have a plan in place so you should not have your accounts garnished with the quarterly review.

Finally, talk to an attorney for financial advice about any agreements to pay an arrearage over time, which accounts you can safely use and how to avoid an account garnishment if you do have an arrearage.

Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the Financial Institution Data Match finds you.

Note: If you need help with child support, contact the family law attorneys of Cordell & Cordell for legal advice on divorce. Use the Child Support Calculator for an estimated amount of how much child support you should be paying.

Read Related Article: “Child Support And The Government’s Review Of Your Bank Records


Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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