Although they are officially referred to as “2020 recovery rebates,” they are technically tax rebates, which will be credited against federal income taxes owed in the next tax year.
As the on-going pandemic and continuing job uncertainty do nothing to abate the financial woes many couples who are divorcing, separating, or considering the dissolution of a civil union are facing, determining which spouse is entitled to the long-awaited government stimulus check is also raising additional concerns about how the stimulus payment will impact child support, alimony, and spousal support, in addition to other divorce agreement issues.
Although they are officially referred to as “2020 recovery rebates,” they are technically tax rebates, which will be credited against federal income taxes owed in the next tax year. Couples who divorced in 2018 or prior should have each received their own stimulus check based on their most recent federal income tax filings. However, spouses who divorced in 2019 or 2020 and who haven’t filed their federal income taxes separately may encounter issues related to the disbursement of their stimulus check.
Regardless of the timing of their divorce process, divorced, separated, or unmarried parents may also face issues related to allegations of possibly withholding the child credit stimulus payments, which the legal custodial parent may be entitled to receive.
At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to favorable and successfully value and divide marital assets and debts of all kinds. Our unique approach focuses on helping our clients build a secure foundation for their new life, rather than tearing down the many things they have worked so hard to build during the course of their marriage.
Call our office today for a strategic planning session with a member of our qualified legal staff if you have questions or are concerned about whether you or your former spouse is entitled to these stimulus funds or discuss any other family law related matter.
Stimulus Disbursement Based on Most Recent Tax Filings in 2018 or 2019
Based on a person’s federal income tax return from 2018 or 2019, the maximum payment amount through the program is:
- $1,200 for individuals,
- $2,400 for married couples who filed a joint tax return, and
- $500 for each minor child residing in the household.
Legal Options If My Spouse Kept the Stimulus Payments for Themselves
Under the criteria of the CARES Act, “Economic Impact Payments” or stimulus payments are marital property because they are based on a couple’s most recent joint tax return. Pending divorce litigation does not change the stimulus funds’ status as part of the equitable distribution of marital assets.
Misappropriating, hiding assets, or not disclosing receipt of federal funds that your spouse may be entitled to is not advisable and could leave you subject to future consequences. Tax refunds are recognized in divorce litigation as an asset that is subject to equitable distribution. When joint tax returns are filed, refunds are most often expected to be equally shared between the parties.
Under this premise and based on a pre-divorce tax filing family status, it would be safe to suggest that each party would anticipate being entitled to receive half of any stimulus check received, regardless of whose bank account it is deposited into or which address the check is sent to. Should one party refuse to share the stimulus payment with the other party, the financially injured spouse or party has the right to be made whole if they choose to assert their legal rights.
Contact Our Morris County Marital Asset Division Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Jacobs Berger, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to favorably and effectively divide marital assets during the divorce or mediation process.
We help you determine which assets are marital property and which assets are separate property, accurately value those marital assets and ultimately settle your asset division agreement in the manner that best meets your specific needs and concerns.
To schedule a confidential case assessment with one of our attorneys today regarding the division of your marital assets and debt, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at (973) 718-7705.