Fenton, MI asked in Tax Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Gov & Administrative Law for Michigan

Q: I'm on disability and do not have taxes to file. How do I get the child stimulus money if the dad received it already?

The father claims our 1 child the past few years due to my disability and no taxes to file. I've never signed an 8332 tax form for him to claim the child. We never married either. We do not have any agreement through court for who claims our child on taxes. I read that the custodial parent is the one who gets to claim the child, unless I sign an 8332 tax form, then he can take that form in when filing taxes & claim her. He received BOTH stimulus checks for our child & will not give me a penny. I'm the custodial parent, I should be the parent who receives the stimulus checks, not him. What do I do now to get both the stimulus checks? I do not file taxes, I get social security disability. I did file a non-filers form through the IRS to claim our child, but he already received the money since his taxes show he claimed our child. What steps should I take to get the last 2 child stimulus payments now?

***Wouldn't papers from FOC showing I have our child 2/3rds yr be enough for IRS?

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You will likely need to file a motion in court to get any money back. Here's the thing: the IRS doesn't know what the custody status is of any particular child. They do match social security numbers, and that's how they catch people fraudulently claiming dependents: two people claim the same child using the same social security number. That process takes time. And in this case, the father is arguably not doing anything fraudulent in the eyes of the IRS. You are right though that the custodial parent should be claiming the child. But again, the IRS doesn't know who the custodial parent is, and the only way they would even question it is if both you and the father filed taxes and each claimed the child.

Your best bet would be to file a motion to establish custody, to have something on paper that says you are the custodial parent. And then you will need to file the requisite forms with the IRS depending on your filing status.

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