Stimulus Checks during a Divorce: Do I Have to Share My Stimulus Check with My Almost Ex?

With the COVID-19 crisis came the crash of the global economy.  The federal government has promised to send stimulus checks to those who qualify.  Some have already received the funds deposited directly into their accounts and others are still waiting.  If you owe child support, the amount of your stimulus check may be impacted.  But if you do not have any child support arrears, are you required to share that stimulus check with your ex?

If your divorce has already been finalized and you have filed separate income tax returns, that stimulus check is likely not subject to distribution between you and your former spouse.  If your divorce is still ongoing, however, the answer may not be as clear cut.  Did you file joint returns?  Even if you filed Married, Filing Separately, the stimulus check may be considered marital funds.  Has the Complaint for Divorce already been filed?  Is the stimulus check based on your income earned during the marriage?

And what about the extra $500 per child that the government has promised?  Who gets to keep those monies?  So long as everyone is current on their child support obligations, there is a strong argument for the distribution of the extra money per child.  If a parent does owe some child support, it may be possible to reach an agreement whereby the custodial parent keeps the entire amount of the stimulus and credits the payor parent’s share towards his or her child support obligation.

If you are expecting a stimulus check, or have already received one, and have questions regarding whether or not it should be distributed, do not hesitate to reach out to Birz Law to answer your questions.  Contact us at (201) 701-1218 or to schedule your consultation today.

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