Who Gets The COVID-19 Stimulus Check – San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law
We have recently received a number of frantic calls from people who have raised a novice issue that is specific to Coronavirus. That being, who is entitled to the COVID-19 stimulus. Quite simply, the stimulus payments are not always being shared equally amongst divorced or separated couples.
The Stimulus Check is paid as follows:
Individuals – $1,200
Couple Filing Jointly – $2,400
$500 for each additional child claimed on your taxes
Where’s The Problem?
If you divorced in 2019 but haven’t yet filed your 2019 taxes, the government will look to your 2018 taxes for guidance. But in 2018 you filed jointly with your then spouse. So the stimulus payment has been deposited (and spent) in the spouse’s bank account per the 2018 taxes. This was supposed to be divided equally but it’s very possible and we’re hearing from many of you out there that you now need to try to obtain your portion of the stimulus. Additionally, one parent likely received 100% of the stimulus money for the children.
The first hope is that you and your former spouse have maintained quality communication and that you can work together to simply find an equitable solution. That may just mean splitting the check-in half. We encourage you to review your divorce judgment as a clause may be found that speaks to future tax refunds that you all may obtain. If you can’t agree on your own, then the next step is to seek out family mediation in San Diego.
Family mediation is an alternative to going to court which allows you to quickly seek resolution at a very reasonable fee. And since the courts are still not yet open, mediation is your only option to achieve a binding agreement in a matter of days before the money disappears. If you are one of the many families that are in need of these funds now, working together as a team to amicably resolve your dispute through family law mediation is your best option. You can also discuss sharing of the $500 per child stimulus during mediation, even if the law does not dictate for it to be shared. In mediation, you control the process and outcome and one spouse can be more generous to the other in recognition of the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in.
Parents and children are getting used to this new world and it’s a very stressful time for many of us. The sharing of the stimulus will build goodwill between co-parents who remain committed to loving their children and supporting each other outside of marriage. Now is the time to put your kids first and come together in peaceful negotiation. The beauty of mediation is that it’s a collaboration of ideas and minds coming together and we are here to help you get started.
Scott Levin is the founding partner of San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law. He is an active member of The Academy of Professional Family Mediators and many other organizations that promote the benefits of family mediation. Scott is also a licensed attorney in the state of California as well as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. He chooses to practice mediation because he believes that spouses and parents should stay in control of their own divorce terms and avoid conflict in court. Reducing conflict between divorcing parents can have a huge impact on the next generation of parents and he remains committed to helping clients create and peacefully attack the issues of divorce and not each other.