Taxes. It’s that time. January is famous for filing divorce and filing taxes. If you are divorced, you still have unsettled business when it comes to filing your taxes. The pandemic brought some financial relief to those in need in the form of stimulus checks, but divorced parents may have some questions about how the stimulus affects filing taxes. Here are three details about the stimulus checks that could affect you.

 

Joint Custody

In a legal case of parents who share custody (50/50), the stimulus check allows for both parents to receive the new amount. In a joint custody arrangement, parents alternate claiming children or dependents (someone you support financially is not always a child) when filing taxes. The new stimulus could have left one half of the joint custody arrangement without the much-needed financial help. When filing this year, be sure you also fill out the necessary portions to receive your aid as well.

 

Custodial Parent

The custodial parent claims the children as dependents on taxes because the child spends the majority of the time with the custodial parent. This parent is the caretaker who makes the decisions about school, medical treatment, activities, and lifestyle--for the most part. A good custodial parent includes the non custodial parent in communication and decisions when possible. This parent will receive the stimulus amount associated with the child or children.

 

Child Support

If you are the non custodial parent, the new stimulus check will not affect your child support payment--even if you owe child support from previous months. In the earlier Cares Act, states could garnish as much as was needed to pay the owed amount; however, this new stimulus does not allow for states to garnish any amount of the recent stimulus.

 

Caring for children during and after a divorce offers parents a new set of challenges, even under normal circumstances. Parenting during a pandemic has caused even healthy co parents to feel the strain of decision-making for keeping everyone healthy and safe. The financial burden for some families was devastating, but the stimulus offered some help. Knowing how the financial assistance can affect your taxes gives you the ability to check one thing off your mental list and move on to the next priority. Visit the IRS website, talk to your attorney, and ask more questions for the details you may still need. 

 

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