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Securing Your Stimulus Payment During COVID-19

Awaiting the receipt of a stimulus check to get through the economic challenges created by the coronavirus may have added an extra level of anxiety to a stressful time if you are already divorced – or in the process of getting a divorce. These one-time stimulus payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples, and $500 per child under the age of 17 are meant to stimulate the economy and also assist low and middle-income workers who may lose or fear the loss of income.

Since the payment should be made to the most recent bank account the IRS has on file, what does this mean for couples who have since divorced, or filed for divorce?

If your last tax return was a joint tax return, and you have not received an individual stimulus payment you believe you are due, you may need to seek a court order to divide the funds appropriately. Likewise, those in the middle of a divorce who can wait for the money may seek the allocation of the stimulus payment as part of a final settlement agreement.

This also applies to the payment for the child(ren). You may be entitled to all or part of a stimulus payment for your child(ren) under the age of 17 that was received by the other parent regardless of whether your most recent return was a joint return (which contained your former spouse’s bank account information) or a separate return filed in a year in which your former spouse was authorized to claim the child(ren).

Stimulus payments are meant to alleviate, not create, additional stress.

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce or post-divorce issues, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.

By Carly J. Steinberg, Esq.