Q: What’s the best recourse to get stimulus monies wrongfully held by an ex-spouse?
My daughter’s divorce was finalized in the first quarter of 2020 so she and her ex filed their 2019 taxes together. Fast forward to the stimulus monies. They have two children and agreed going forward they would each claim one as a defendant on their taxes. Because of filing jointly in 2019, the first round of stimulus was direct deposited in her ex’s bank account. This round he paid her her half. Fast forward to the second stimulus paid out in January 2020. Still not having filed taxes separately, the monies were once again deposited in the ex’s account. During this past year, he fell behind in child support. He chose to give her the $600x2 as a payment through the child support system, thereby giving him a $1200 credit in his past due support. He claims he has made her “whole”. We know he used her money to pay his back support. We have proof he thinks he’s paid her her $$. We believe he still owes her $1200. Any suggestions? Small claims? Full filing with an attorney?
A: If you are unable to negotiate a resolution with the other party, then your best bet may be to file a motion for rule to show cause (motion for "contempt") in the court where their divorce was finalized, and ask the judge to force him to pay her the money.
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