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Behind on Child Support? Don’t Expect a Stimulus Check

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While most Americans have received their stimulus check by now, many are still eagerly anticipating this extra money to pay for bills, food and other expenses. The truth is that there are some people who won’t receive a check for various reasons. Some make too much money. Some don’t have a bank account or current address on file with the IRS. There are others who will get their check garnished because they owe child support.

While overdue taxes and student loans are exempt from garnishment by the stimulus check, child support is not. Therefore, if a parent owes child support to the other parent, they likely won’t see a check. If they do, it will be reduced based on how much they owe.

This is also a problem for the spouses of parents who are overdue on child support. Instead of seeing the check reduced based on the one parent’s obligation, the entire check is going toward child support. This means that the other spouse isn’t getting their $1,200, nor are they getting the extra $500 per child.

In the past, when one person was responsible for debts and the other spouse did not get their tax refund, the affected spouse could file for injured spouse relief. However,  there is no guidance for injured spouse relief at this time. Even when it is available, the process is time-consuming and cumbersome. It could take many months for you to receive your refund.

So what happens to the money that is being withheld? It will go to the appropriate collecting office based on where the taxpayer lives. The collecting office will then issue the money to the custodial parent. The length of time this takes will vary from state to state.

If you’re behind on child support, it will affect not only your stimulus check but unemployment checks as well. This is concerning, considering that millions of Americans have lost their jobs. In Maryland, creditors can legally garnish 25% of your weekly disposable earnings or any disposable earnings exceeding $145. So if you earn $200 in disposable earnings, then $55 would go toward your child support.

Some states limit child support collection to 50% of each check, so you wouldn’t have to worry about losing your entire check. You would still be left some money so you can live and pay for expenses. Check your state’s laws to confirm.

Unfortunately, owing child support is frowned upon. Society tends to look at those who owe child support as “irresponsible” and “deadbeats,” even though financial difficulties can make it hard for anyone to keep up with their obligations.

Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney Today

Child support is a touchy issue among parents. Custodial parents depend on this money to care for children, but many never receive it, causing financial issues and tension.

Dealing with child support issues? Whether you cannot afford to pay child support or you’re having trouble paying this obligation, the Columbia child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can help. We have two offices to serve you. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 to schedule a free consultation.

Resource:

usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/14/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-can-i-get-stimulus-check-if-i-owe-child-support/5129747002/

https://www.marylandlawhelp.com/when-and-when-not-to-go-to-court-to-enforce-a-custody-or-support-order/

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