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Owe Child Support? You May Not Get a Stimulus Check


By now, you’ve heard all the “buzz” surrounding the stimulus checks, which are meant to inject cash into an economy hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For qualifying individuals and married couples, the stimulus payments are $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples who filed jointly, plus an additional $500 for each child age 16 and younger, per household.

The IRS has plans to issue millions of stimulus payments, but it won’t happen all at once. The IRS estimated that it would take up to 20 weeks go issue all of the payments. The IRS has prioritized low-income filers, assuming they need it the most, so they will be receiving their checks first. As for high-earning individuals, some of them will not receive stimulus payments at all because their income exceeds the threshold.

You May Not Get a Payment if You Owe Child Support

If you have not received your stimulus check, it could mean that your check simply hasn’t arrived yet due to the IRS’s backlog, or it could be something else, for example, the fact that you owe back child support. You see, if a parent owes child support arrears, their stimulus payment may be reduced or eliminated altogether. So, if you owe several months of back child support, you may kiss your stimulus payment goodbye.

“What if I don’t owe child support, but my spouse does? Can that affect my stimulus check in any way?” This is a very good question, and the answer is, “Yes, it is very possible.” If you filed your taxes jointly and your spouse owes child support, your spouse’s stimulus check and your stimulus check may go toward the child support arrears. However, if YOU filed an innocent spouse claim, then your spouse’s payment should go to child support, but you should be able to receive your portion.

“On April 16, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-52-20, which affects the interception of federal stimulus checks. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Support (CARES) Act requires states to intercept federal stimulus payments to apply to overdue child support, but the Governor’s action provides that stimulus intercepts must apply to families first, and government owed arrears only after the family is paid,” according to

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