What to Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package If You’re Divorced

What to Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package If You’re Divorced

Americans began receiving money in mid-April from the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by congress and signed into law by President Trump in late March. People who received their tax returns via direct deposit were to have their money directly deposited into their account, while others would receive checks in the mail.

If you’re divorced or in the process of getting a divorce, you might wonder how that money will be handled. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know.

If you’re divorced

If you’re already divorced but the divorce was recent enough where tax refunds would be subject to equitable distribution, any money you receive from the stimulus package would also be subject to a 50 percent split between each partner, regardless of whose bank account received the check. If the total stimulus check was based on pre-divorce family status, you are required to split it. If the recipient spouse refuses to voluntarily send 50 percent to the other spouse, then that spouse will have the right to seek compensation in court.

But, if the total check already took into account your divorced status and each partner received their own stimulus money, you will not have to worry about splitting it up.

If you’re going through a divorce

If you’re still in the process of negotiating a divorce, the stimulus payments will need to be accounted for in the asset distribution process.

If you haven’t already filed your 2019 tax return (the due date was extended until July), it’s important to consider how it will differ from your 2018 return. If the 2019 return would result in a higher stimulus check, you should get it filed as soon as possible. Otherwise, if the 2018 return would result in a bigger payment, wait to file the return.

For more information about handling the stimulus money with your divorce, contact an experienced Long Island attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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