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High asset divorce and your stimulus check

81386394_s.jpgMillions of Americans are receiving a stimulus check from the government, meant to help offset financial struggles many adults are facing due to business closures and loss of wages brought on by the spread of the coronavirus. While this is certainly a relief for people that are struggling to stay on top of household bills and other necessary expenses, the distribution process may be flawed. For Missouri residents that have gone through a high asset divorce in the last tax year, receiving the stimulus money may be a headache. 

The stimulus checks are being deposited based on information from a person's 2019 tax return. If 2019 tax information is not available because a return has not been processed or a person had not yet filed, the 2018 tax information for an individual will be used. If a person has not yet completed his or her 2019 taxes and was divorced in the past year, the stimulus check may very well land in the account of a former spouse. 

If two people were still married and filed taxes as such in 2018, there is no protocol to ensure that even though the parties are no longer married, each will receive a separate stimulus payment. There are nationwide reports of frustrated taxpayers, recently divorced, saying their ex received the stimulus deposit they were entitled to. Currently, former spouses are being encouraged to work it out between themselves, but this obviously is not a viable solution for many people. 

Legal action can be taken if something like this happens, but frustration over stimulus checks is compounded by court closures. People that finalized a high asset divorce last tax year may want to contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help a Missouri client explore the most efficient avenue to ensure that the client receives the stimulus money to which the client is entitled and work to ensure that an ex does not wind up with it instead. 

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