What Happens With My Stimulus Check If I Am Recently Divorced or Going Through a Divorce?
Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about the stimulus check and recently divorced or currently divorcing couples. The important thing to know is that the stimulus check will be issued based on your most recent tax returns. If you previously filed your 2018 taxes jointly the stimulus check amount and conditions will be based off of that filing. If you have already filed your 2019 taxes this year, either jointly or separately, the stimulus check amount and conditions will be based off of that.
If You Are Already Divorced
During the course of the settlement agreement, divorcing couples will usually make a decision to file their taxes from the previous year either jointly or separately. Whichever way was decided, there should already be an agreed upon division of any 2019 tax refund. Because the stimulus check amount is determined by the couples most recent tax filing, it’s fair to argue that the stimulus amount per spouse should be divided the same way.
For example, if your agreement prior to your divorce was that any refunds received after the divorce was finalized would be shared equally, then it would be fair to suggest that each party would be entitled to 50% of any stimulus check received regardless of whose bank account it is deposited into.
If this is your situation and your spouse refuses to give you whatever percentage of the stimulus check that is due you, then you have a choice to go before the judge and fight for that. I would caution you, however, to be cautious in deciding whether it is worth spending the money to fight your case. In certain cases, it may cost you more money in legal fees than what your portion of the stimulus check is worth. Please do keep that in mind.
Currently Going Through a Divorce
If you are not yet divorced but are currently going through the divorce process, you should make sure that the stimulus payment check is addressed as part of your agreement. Because the stimulus check amount is determined by the couples most recent tax filing, this brings up another factor to consider. If you have not yet filed your 2019 tax returns, do consider which tax filing, 2018 or 2019, if either, will provide both of you the better return.
$500 per Child
Finally, if children are involved, which parent will receive the additional $500 for each child? Again, during the settlement agreement, the issue of which parent claims the child(ren) on their taxes each year is usually decided upon. The $500 per child stimulus check will be allocated accordingly to whichever parent claimed the child(ren) during the year of the tax filing (2018 tax filing or 2019 if they have already been filed).
If you have questions or concerns regarding divorce, or any other family law issue as it relates to the COVID19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your particular situation in detail. To schedule a consultation, reach our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.