Will My Stimulus Check be Garnished to Pay Back Child Support?
COVID-19 has changed the world for parents everywhere, including those who were already divorced or separated when the outbreak occurred. While the pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of our lives, separated parents often face additional hurdles, including the need to grapple with changing parenting time schedules and the effect of a potential job loss on a child support award. Changing financial circumstances have, in particular, become a hot topic amongst co-parents, many of whom share custody and are responsible for making realgar child support payments. For this reason, the stimulus checks that were sent by the IRS to qualifying taxpayers proved especially helpful to families across the nation.
It’s important for co-parents, however, to consider the effect that these types of payments will have on any child support awards, especially if they owe back child support payments, so if you recently received a stimulus check and have questions about whether a portion of that needs to go towards the support of your child, please contact our experienced child support legal team today.
Stimulus Payments for Single Parents
Last month, as a part of the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included a $2 trillion economic stimulus package, the federal government began sending stimulus checks to qualifying taxpayers to assist them during these difficult financial times. Under the new law, single parents qualify for a stimulus payment of $1,200, as long as their income doesn’t exceed $112,500. These individuals can also collect an additional $500 per dependent (under the age of 17 years old) that they claim on their tax return.
Although a welcome supplemental form of income for many taxpayers, these payments also raised questions amongst those paying child support, regarding the effect of their overdue child support debt on their stimulus payment and vice versa.
How Stimulus Payments Affect Overdue Child Support
While the CARES Act did suspend a number of different types of debts, including back taxes and overdue student loans, it did not suspend a parent’s obligation to pay child support if ordered to do so by a court. Instead, stimulus checks, like wages and tax refunds, can be garnished by the government in order to pay back child support. In fact, the CARES Act made clear that the only reason a stimulus check can be offset is for overdue child support. In cases where a parent does owe child support to a co-parent, the amount withheld for overdue child support will go back to the state and then transferred to the proper recipient, at which point, a new check will be issued to the payor.
Schedule a Free Case Review Today
If you or a former partner owe back child support and have questions about how this debt could affect the receipt of your stimulus check, please call 954-945-7591 today to speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale child support attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. A member of our team can also be reached by completing and submitting one of our brief online contact forms.