Many of you may have seen by now that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun disbursing its first round of stimulus checks to American families via the recently signed CARES Act. You should consult a tax professional to determine if your adjusted gross income qualifies for any Care Act payment.
How are the payments for divorced spouses allocated? Generally speaking, for each child age 16 or under, parents are eligible to receive an additional $500. Again, this is dependent on gross adjusted income.
For divorced parents, the parent who claimed a child in the most recent tax filing will receive the additional monies for that child.
For recently divorced parents, if you and your ex-spouse most recently filed a joint tax return and are now divorced, the IRS may not be aware of your current marital status. The IRS will be sending the check to the account listed in your last tax return. So, if you filed a joint return and are now living separately from your former spouse, the check could wind up in your ex-spouse’s hands. It is therefore important that you discuss the division of these funds with your ex-spouse to try and come to an agreement on this issue. If you cannot agree, the assistance of an attorney may be helpful.
Finally, if you have adult children who are still eligible to be claimed on your taxes, it is important that you communicate with them, as adult children who have been claimed as a dependent on a separate tax return will not receive a stimulus check.
A Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal family law attorney can help you work through the very challenging issues we all face in this time of national crisis.