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Specialty tag(s): Child Support

What Divorced Couples Need to Know About Stimulus Checks

Angelica Rolong Cormier | April 3, 2020

What Divorced Couples Need to Know About Stimulus Checks

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion stimulus package, into law. The federal government’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic includes provisions to assist small businesses and stimulus checks for individuals. GoransonBain Ausley associate Angelica Cormier investigates useful knowledge for divorced couples regarding the aforementioned stimulus checks.

You may be wondering how the law will affect your family law case. Here is information to help answer some of your questions about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act’s stimulus checks.

Most adults should expect to receive a one-time $1,200 payment from the federal government in the next few weeks. However, some Americans will receive less. To calculate the size of the check, the government is examining the adjusted gross income listed on the taxpayer’s most recent tax return.

For those that have not filed their 2019 tax return, the government will base the calculation on the adjusted gross income listed on 2018 tax return. Under the law, individual adults will receive up to $1,200, while married couples will receive up to $2,400. Couples with children under 17 at the end of the tax year will receive $500 for each child.

Below are common questions our divorce and family law clients at Goranson Bain Ausley have asked regarding the stimulus package:

I have a pending divorce case, who will get the check?

The check will go to the bank account that was provided to the IRS in your previous return. If your last tax return was a joint return tax return with your spouse, please contact your family law attorney to discuss your options. It is important to keep in mind the cost-benefit of retaining a family law attorney and the amount you might receive through the stimulus check. 

I have a custody case, who will get the portion of the check that is allocated for the children?

The person who filed as head of household will receive the check. If you filed jointly with your spouse and listed your minor children, or if your custody situation has changed since the tax return was filed, please contact your divorce attorney to discuss your options.

I am the non-custodial parent and owe child support to the custodial parent, will I receive my check?

The normal rules for child support are still in effect. State child support agencies are required to report past-due child support to the United States Treasury. As a result, all or a partial amount of your check may be intercepted by the Attorney General of Texas: Child Support Division and provided to the custodial parent to be applied to the outstanding balance.

View a complete list of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act’s stimulus check FAQ’s

The CARES Act will provide one-time financial assistance to individuals and families, but the amount you receive will depend on the factors discussed here.

At GoransonBain Ausley, we focus exclusively on divorce, custody, and related family law matters. The purpose of this blog is to provide answers to frequently asked questions about stimulus checks for our clients. As a family law firm, we do not give tax advice or advice on the eligibility of stimulus payments. We highly recommend you reach out to your family lawyer, financial advisor, or accountant for more information on divorce and stimulus checks. 

Below are links to Federal and State websites for more information:

Child support, the federal stimulus payments and tax returns

Economic Impact Payment Center

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Angie is passionate about practicing family law and focuses on the areas of divorce with young children, gray divorces, and child support for adult disabled children. She is knowledgeable about the financial impact of divorce and how to help clients in difficult circumstances successfully transition into the next phase of their lives. For more information about Angelica Cormier click here.

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