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My divorce is pending, and I received my spouse’s stimulus money. What should I do?

My divorce is pending, and I received my spouse’s stimulus money. What should I do?

Nationwide, qualifying Americans are receiving their stimulus checks from the CARES Act each day. Subject to certain income phase-outs, each American will receive $1,200 plus $500 for each child. The IRS is using 2018 and 2019 tax return information to determine who qualifies to receive checks and where to send them. If you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes using direct deposit, the IRS will send your check to the account you used for direct deposit. For Nevadans in the midst of divorce proceedings, this could present a problem. If minor children are at issue in your divorce proceeding, please read our post about what to do with your child's stimulus check.

If you are in the midst of divorce proceedings and you received your spouse’s stimulus check, you should send him/her their stimulus check.

There may be exceptions to this. If your spouse is behind on court-ordered temporary spousal support or child support, you may have a basis to keep their stimulus check. However, if your spouse is only delinquent on court-ordered temporary spousal support or child support because he/she has been furloughed or laid off, a judge may frown upon this.

Judges are human and understand that Nevadans are facing unprecedented times right now. If you choose to keep your spouse’s stimulus check, you should be prepared to explain why to a judge.

If you are in the midst of divorce proceedings and your spouse received your stimulus check but refuses to share it with you, you should speak to an attorney about your options.

This post is intended to convey general information only and not to provide specific legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship. Leavitt Law Firm does not assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any of the information contained in this blog post. The information may not apply to your unique situation and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Any tax advice contained in these blog posts is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or by any other applicable tax authority or to promote, market or recommend to another any tax-related matter addressed herein.

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