Child Support, Stimulus Checks and Tax Returns: What You Need to Know in 2021
The federal government recently sent another round of stimulus checks to many families across
the country to help ease some of the financial burdens of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile,
Tax Day (now pushed back a month) is looming.
What does all of this mean for parents waiting on overdue child support payments and those
who owe support money? Here is what you need to know.
2021 Stimulus Checks Shielded
The Internal Revenue Service began sending stimulus payments to eligible individuals
and families in March, shortly after President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue
Plan Act. Those payments – up to $1,400 – followed two rounds of previous payments
worth up to a total of $1,800.
Eligibility for payments and the amount of the stimulus money varies based on income,
marital status, and number of children. People who are eligible for payments but who did
not receive a check can also seek the money through a tax refund.
Whether debt collectors can get at some of the money has changed over time.
The laws authorizing the first two stimulus payments largely prohibited the federal,
state, local or other governments from garnishing the checks to cover unpaid debts like
overdue child support. However, there is no such ban with respect to the third round of
checks that started going out in March.
Recovery Refund is Fair Game
People who are seeking the stimulus in the form of a Recovery Rebate Credit when
they file their tax returns are playing under a different set of rules.
The refund money can be garnished for a wide range of unpaid debts, including
previous tax obligations, fines, and, yes, child support. That money can be taken from
any tax return payment before it hits a person’s bank account.
Let a Grand Rapids Child Support Attorney Help
Child support is generally designed to ensure that kids’ basic needs are met by their
parents. For the parent with custody of the child, getting the support often requires
going to court to get support ordered. It can also mean going back to court to enforce
The good news is that you do not need to deal with this on your own. A Grand Rapids
child support attorney at Kraayeveld Law can help you navigate the legal process and
enforce your rights. We are seasoned family law attorneys with a track record of
successful results for the people that we represent.
Our lawyers have dedicated their professional lives to helping people in the local
community and across the state untangle their marriages and resolve a wide range of
issues, like child support, child custody, and alimony. We take the time to understand
each client’s unique needs and craft legal strategies to meet their specific goals.