I'm sure most of you remember back in March and early April how legislation was passed by Congress which allowed for stimulus payments to be sent to most Americans who earned under $200,000 as a family. These stimulus checks were not just gifts but essentially act as upfront payments of money that you ordinarily would receive as refunds on your 2020 taxes. Regardless, this is nontaxable money that was sent to most people during the month of April and May in order to help sustain your home economy while the economic shutdowns were ongoing due to the coronavirus.
So many of the issues that we discuss here on the blog for our law office deal with issues directly related to the coronavirus. Consider that visitation, conservatorships rights, child support, enforcement cases and modification cases are all directly related to problems brought about by the coronavirus or economic problems related to the various government led economic shutdowns that we are still seeing to this day. Family law cases pertain to the most intimate matters in our lives. It should come as no surprise when these matters have begun to growing importance during the era of coronavirus.
The stimulus payments that totaled around $1200 for individuals, $2400 for married couples color and an additional $600 per child per family means that our government was sending out payments that totaled in the billions of dollars. These payments were not intended to be once that would sustain you and your family throughout this pandemic. Rather they were intended as the means by which you and your family could get by until stable employment could be found or that your current job would reopen after the shutdowns.
When we hear on the news that the government will be sending out checks related to the coronavirus, we can only assume that everyone will be getting some money. However, that is shown itself not to be the case. For instance, families that earn more than $200,000 annually we're not eligible for payment. These folks may have lost their jobs as well or suffered other kinds of economic harm due to the Corona virus shutdowns but because of their income level no check was sent to these people.
Another way that you may not have received your check yet, would be if you owed child support to an ex-spouse. This is the subject that I would like to discuss for today's blog post. If you oh child support and that obligation is only grown recently due to a loss of your job than today's blog post is meant for you to read. We are going to spend some time discussing how if you owe child support in Texas may create a situation where you do not receive any of the federal stimulus payments that were sent to American families towards the beginning of this pandemic.
How can you get into a situation where you owe child support? Before we get into a situation where we are discussing stimulus check payments, I think it merits mentioning how a person can get to a situation where child support is owed in the 1st place. If you have recently gone through A divorce or child custody case and are the non-custodial parent of your child, then it is likely that you have been ordered to pay child support as a result of that case.
Child support payments are typically paid once a month at the beginning of the month from you to your child's other parent. In a legal sense that another parent is known as the custodial parent of your child. A custodial parent cares for your child on a daily basis during the school year and has the right to receive child support payments as a result. Your role as a non-custodial parent is to pay child support in order to help equalize the burden financially Speaking of raising your child. The state legislature believes that both parents of a child should have an active role in making decisions for that child's well-being and also helping to raise that child. Since your child spends more time with their other parent than with you it is reasonable to assume that the other parent spends more money on the raising of your child.
This is where the obligation of paid child support comes from. Rather than you having to make periodic payments to your ex-spouse in varying amounts you are divorce decree or child custody order likely spells out what your monthly child support obligation is. That child support payment is made to your ex-spouse through the child support division of the office of the attorney general. This is the state agency which administers the payment of child support from you to your ex-spouse. The agency does not oversee how that money is spent by your ex-spouse but it does help to ensure that the money is received in full and on time.
A wage withholding order is typically created at the end of your family law case which is signed by a judge in his sent to your employer. Your employer's payroll Department or human resources group will follow the terms of that order and ensure that a portion of your monthly paycheck is sent directly to the office of the attorney general. From there, the office of the attorney general will ensure that payment goes through to your child primary conservator thus finishing their payment of child support. This is typically the end and the story when it comes to determining how child support works in Texas.
Child support issues in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic
Keep in mind that the payment of child support does not always go as smoothly as I described a moment ago. For instance, you may have lost a job in the fall of 2018 or even prior to the Corona virus shutdowns. A more likely alternative is that you lost your job along with millions of other Americans in March or early April. As a result of the stay at home orders and the drying up of jobs you still may not have employment in place after having lost your job months ago. If this sounds like you then you will want to keep reading today's blog post.
If you have lost your job or suffered a decrease in your income earning over the past few months, then you likely do oh child support. A link child support is not a state of mind or something that you are told buy a custodial parent of. Rather, you can check online and verify just how much child support you actually do owe So that there will not be any doubt in your mind last tier status of whether or not you actually do owe child support.
So, for the sake of today's blog post let's assume that you do owe some amount of child support. The reason why you owe child support could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closing of your job for weeks or months or something not at all to do with the pandemic. Regardless of the reason why you owe child support, if you owe child support in Texas your ability to receive your stimulus check payment could be in jeopardy. Allow me to explain
it is the law that the office of the attorney general must inform our federal government in the event that you owe child support. For instance, in years past if you had to child support then you found out that when you expected to receive a refund on your tax return that money was likely intercepted by the office of the attorney general and instead paid to the custodial parent of your child. So the federal money that you should have received from overpaying on your income taxes never made it to your bank account because he owed child support.
If you owe more than $500 in child support, then you should expect to not receive any stimulus money until your arrearage and child support is paid in full. For example, if you owe $750 in child support and your stimulus check total would have been $1200 you should expect that you will receive $450 in your pocket and $750 in child support arrearage will be paid out of your stimulus check payment. The president for the government intercepting your money is that tax refund money has been and will continue to be Treated in this way as well.
It may also happen that you have not yet received your stimulus check money and your divorce may have been finalized during this. the government likely is not keeping tabs on your marital status and as a result you may end up receiving a check that should go to your ex-spouse. The question we need to ask ourselves is whether or not you can deposit a check into your own bank account even when it bears the name of your ex-spouse. Is this something OK to do? Or should you turn the check over to your ex-spouse?
In my opinion it would make sense for you to forward the check as soon as you can to your ex-spouse if he or she has a rightful claim to it. You know your personal financial situation much better than ideal. If you know that the money you have received from the government should not end up in your bank account than you need to take the steps necessary to ensure that payment goes to your ex-spouse if you owe him or her money. This is especially true in the event that you do owe him or her child support and your payment from the government was not intercepted.
In many cases you and your ex-spouse may just need to split the money. You can contact your experts after receiving the check and get their opinion on how to handle the situation. For example, you could just choose to deposit the check into your bank account and withdraw half of the money for payment to your ex-spouse. If your divorce cases on going, then you can work with your spouse's attorney on how to get him or her their share of the stimulus payment there are many ways to split this money and it starts with communication with your child's other parent.
It is possible that the subject of stimulus payments could cause problems in your household. Do not be surprised if you experience disagreements with a parent regarding how the money is received, when it was received and what you all plan to do with the money. All you can do in this regard is control how you respond to your child other parent. Having patience and not assuming the worst motive in the world attributable to your ex-spouse it seemed to be a good place to start.
The other important point to keep in mind is that just because you heard the news that stimulus check funds are being sent out does not mean that you will necessarily get any of that money. Verify that you do not owe any child support or income tax money before you budget the stimulus payments towards some purpose.
Questions about the federal stimulus check payments, child support or Texas family law? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
if you have any questions about the information contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys are experienced and available to help you and your family in whatever circumstances you find yourselves in. A free of charge consultation with one of these attorneys is available six days a week. We are willing to meet with potential new clients over the phone, via video and in person. Our firm's objective is to represent our clients and their families with integrity, honesty and candor. We put you and your family first.