Can Asset Division in a Divorce be Affected by Receiving a Stimulus Check?
As marital property, stimulus checks received during the coronavirus pandemic are subject to the same rules as other assets in Gwinnett County divorce cases.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every area of life for residents of Gwinnett County. In addition to the health concerns associated with COVID-19, there are the financial ramifications of business closures due to stay-at-home orders. To help during these troubled times, the federal government approved one-time payments to taxpayers. If you are going through a divorce, the stimulus check you and your spouse received, should be included, along with other marital assets, as part of your property division settlement.
Coronavirus Stimulus Checks and Divorce Proceedings
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the government approved a massive $2 trillion economic relief package designed to help stimulate the economy amidst the many business closures and lay-offs. In addition to helping major corporations and small businesses, the plan included an economic impact payment, which was distributed through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to taxpayers and other individuals who qualified under income guidelines. The plan allotted $1,200 per person, and $2,400 per married couple, with an additional $500 for up to three dependents, for a possible total of $3,900.
Many people have already received these payments, either through electronic deposit into their bank accounts, or in the form of a check. (If you have not received your check, you can check the status here.) Eligibility for the stimulus check was based on 2018 and 2019 tax returns. This means that for couples currently going through a divorce, your stimulus check qualifies as marital property and is subject to equitable division, the same as any other assets during your divorce proceedings.
Marital Property Division and Coronavirus Stimulus Checks
Under the Georgia Code, the division of marital property and assets plays a major role in divorce proceedings. Anything earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated over the course of your marriage must be divided equitably between the parties involved. This means that rather than simply splitting everything 50/50, the judge will consider certain factors in determining a settlement that is fair. These include:
- The amount of time the couple was married;
- Their current health and income level;
- The amount of pre-marital property each owns;
- Each party’s contributions to the marriage;
- Any premarital agreements which may be in place.
Your stimulus check will be included as part of these proceedings. While both partners have a right to a portion of the check, it may not be divided evenly between the two. This includes the amount allotted for dependents. These are unchartered waters, so it will be up to the judge to determine how your children’s portion should be divided.
Reach Out to Our Norcross Divorce Attorneys
During these difficult times, Zimmerman & Associates provides the trusted legal guidance and aggressive representation needed to successfully resolve important issues in your divorce case. To schedule a consultation, call or contact our Gwinnett County divorce attorneys online today.