Part 1: Covid-19, Your Divorce & Your Individual Stimulus Payment
The Federal Government has now started sending Stimulus payments to help taxpayers during these unprecedented times. How this may affect your divorce may depend on where you are currently in your divorce proceeding. Three areas that couples should be aware of are: (1) couples who are now divorced and filed individual returns, (2) couples who have completed their divorce proceeding but a ruling has not been issued by the judge; and (3) recently divorced couples.
If your divorce is final at the time of the issuance of the Stimulus payment, and you filed an individual income tax return for 2019, you should receive your own Stimulus check deposited directly into your own individual account bank account, if you had your refund direct deposited last year.
Relative to couples who have had a trial, but they are not divorced at the time of the issuance of the Stimulus payment, it may be necessary for your attorney to address this issue with opposing counsel if you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of the payment. Because the payment is based on the prior year joint tax returns, it may be necessary to consult your attorney to discuss the division of the payment and how the payment will be received from the other party.
Finally, if parties were married at the time they filed their joint tax return last year, but have now finalized their divorce proceeding, there is a change that the Stimulus payment may be deposited into an account that may no longer be a joint account but may have been awarded to one party to the divorce proceeding. Division of the payment may require parties to speak directly to their attorney to assist in the division of the payment.
Entirely different issues present themselves regarding the child related payments and we will address those payments in Part 2 of this series. If you are currently involved, or have been involved, in a family law case, it is important to get legal advice regarding this issue. For any questions or concerns related to this topic, please contact Shannon Simpson at Simpson Legal Group, LLC at (712) 256-9899.