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Stimulus Checks: What to Do If Your Check is Garnished

The federal government recently approved a $2 trillion economic relief plan to offer assistance to individuals and families during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have a Social Security number, filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, and meet the income requirements, you are eligible to receive a stimulus check as part of the relief package.

With the new stimulus checks, however, come plenty of questions, especially for divorced couples with kids. Here are a few important things you need to know:

  • Stimulus checks will not be subject to garnishment unless back child support is owed. So, for those who have established arrears in child support payments, you will probably not see money from your stimulus check.
  • Similarly, if you’ve already seen your tax refund being garnished for child support payments, you can expect your stimulus check to also be garnished.
  • If arrears are not yet established – for example if payment was just missed in a recent month, you may still receive your full stimulus check; however, we are living in a brand new world. Some things may happen that are unexpected as the government works to quickly get money in the hands of families.

Another important area of the stimulus relief package is in regards to child payments. The government is giving $500 per child, and that payment will go to whichever parent last claimed the child on their income tax return. Consider speaking with a tax professional or accountant to discuss your tax situation, especially as you consider your 2019 tax filing options in light of the stimulus.

Steps to Take if Your Stimulus Check is Improperly Garnished

If you believe your stimulus check was improperly garnished, please get in touch with us right away. We’ll discuss your situation and explain your options.

For parents who have been furloughed, you may consider doing an abatement to temporarily suspend your child support payments. While an abatement does not cancel the payment, it does delay it, which can be helpful during these uncertain times. It may also be possible to file for a modification if your employment change is the result of a permanent situation.

If you have questions about your stimulus checks in regards to child support and garnishment, please get in touch with us at Vasquez de Lara Law Group.

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