COVID-19 Stimulus Checks: Will my check be seized for child support?

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COVID-19 Stimulus Checks: Will my check be seized for child support?

Many people are eagerly anticipating their stimulus checks this month, thanks to the passage of the CARES Act by the federal government in March. However, many of the people who will receive stimulus checks are also the very people who owe significant amounts of child support to a former spouse or partner.

The question is, can child support scofflaws be penalized by having their stimulus checks intercepted? The answer is a qualified yes. Under a federal program, state child support agencies share information with the Treasury Department about parents who owe child support so that income tax refunds and other federal payments for those deadbeat parents can be seized. If the back child support has been reported by the State of Illinois to the Treasury Department, then the deadbeat parent’s stimulus money can be intercepted by the Treasury Department to pay the past-due child support.

Unfortunately for the many people who are owed child support, it is not a given that the State of Illinois has in fact reported the child support monies that are owed. If you are not enrolled in child support (“IV-D”) services through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, then it is unlikely the State of Illinois has or will report to the Treasury Department the child support owed to you.

So, if you are a parent who is owed child support but will not reap the benefit of having the federal government intercept the deadbeat parent’s stimulus check, then it is still worth a discussion with your attorney about other options to address this issue. We can help brainstorm creative options to obtain the best possible outcome for your particular case.

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