Federal Government Set to Garnish ‘Stimulus’ Check for Overdue Child Support
On March 27th, the U.S. Congress passed and President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. A $2.2 trillion package, the CARES Act contains a wide range of different measures aimed at supporting individuals and businesses who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
One of the most highly remarked upon is the provision for individual stimulus payments—which will provide $1,200 rebates to the majority of American adults. However, for the millions of Americans who owe child support, it is unlikely that a stimulus check will be coming. Although most garnishment orders have been waived, stimulus payments can be garnished for overdue child support. Here, our Tampa child support attorneys explain what you need to know about stimulus funds and garnishment for back due payments.
No Child Support Waiver: Delinquent Child Support and Stimulus Checks
The federal government has sent stimulus checks before, including during the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008. In previous iterations, the government has garnished stimulus payments for things like back taxes and delinquent student loan debt. However, under the CARES Act, a waiver was issued allowing checks to be sent to many people who would otherwise be subject to a garnishment order. That being said, delinquent child support is the exception. The law explicitly allows for garnishment of stimulus payments to cover back due child support.
Stimulus Payments May Be Intercepted and Sent to the Custodial Parent
To be clear, the federal government is not merely keeping the stimulus money that would otherwise be paid to people who owe child support. Instead, the payment will (likely) be intercepted and, eventually, re-routed to the custodial parent who is owed money. With information compiled and shared by individual states, the Department of Treasury has a database of parents who are delinquent on their child support obligations.
In normal times, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can intercept tax refunds and send them to the parent who is owed back due child support. In this case, observers believe that the federal government will intercept stimulus payments and send them to the custodial parent. How exactly this will work and how long the process will take remains an open question. In the coming weeks, the IRS and the Department of Treasury are expected to publish official guidance on a wide range of different issues.
Contact Our Hillsborough County, FL Child Support Attorneys Today
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Tampa child support attorneys have the skills and legal knowledge needed to handle all types of child support cases. Whether you owe child support or are owed child support, we are here to help. For a confidential review of your case, please contact us immediately. With an office location in Tampa, we represent people throughout the region, including in Clearwater, Brandon, Palm Harbor, Largo, and Riverview.