Owe Child Support? You May Not Get a Stimulus Check

In the middle of March of 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) had taken the world by storm. That’s when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to stop the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of America’s citizens.

In a matter of days, state governors across the nation closed schools, shut down non-essential businesses, canceled concerts and sporting events, and asked people to stay home unless they had to leave the house for an essential activity, such as seeing a doctor or going to the grocery store. As a direct result of COVID-19, millions lost their jobs and the economy was crushed.

In response to the economic downturn, Congress came up with a solution. They passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and President Trump signed it into office on March 27, 2020.

Stimulus Payments Under the CARES Act

As a part of the CARES Act, individuals are to get $1,200 economic stimulus payments while married couples are to get $2,400. Parents are also to receive a $500 check for each child under the age of 17 (one per household). Most Americans are eligible for these payments, even if they owe back taxes. However, not everyone is eligible. If a parent owes back child support, their economic stimulus payment may be reduced or eliminated entirely.

“What if my spouse owes child support to their ex, can my portion of the payment be taken?” If you filed your taxes jointly with your spouse and he or she owes child support, depending on how much your spouse owes, it is possible for the entire $2,400 to go toward child support – that includes your portion of the check.

If you don’t want your portion to go to your spouse’s child support arrears, you are advised to file an injured spouse form with the IRS. Click here to file your claim. If you have more questions about your economic impact payment and how the Treasury Offset Program may take your stimulus check to pay child support arrears, visit this page.