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The Moneyist: My husband and ex-wife agreed that he might gather their youngsters on his taxes, however now they’re "demanding" half of their incentive

Dear Quentin,

My husband received a text from his ex-wife demanding part of the final stimulus check for their two children. My husband received their stimulus checks for their boys because he was given the option in his divorce settlement to claim both boys as dependent on his taxes as long as they can be claimed. He pays child support to his ex-wife.

This was offered to him during the negotiations because they could not agree on a monthly maintenance amount. He agreed to a higher alimony payment ($ 200 more per month) as he could take advantage of the tax break. The maintenance is now over and she has paid a lump sum on the equity of the house because he kept the house. This amount is also paid.

"
"She tried to increase child benefit, but she now earns more and my husband's income is relatively the same, so this was rejected."

She received money from him for 6 years and that ended about 3 years ago. I think she didn't adjust her budget when the alimony ended and now she's looking for ways to get more money from him. She tried to increase child benefit but she now earns more and my husband's income is relatively the same so this was refused.

He told her that he would not give her any of the incentive money. She said he "owes" her half because they should each be given an incentive for one of the children. He reminded her that he had agreed to the higher maintenance amount, especially because he could claim the children. I agree that she shouldn't get any of the money.

I think she will continue to ask for money. What shall we tell her?

Second wife

You can email The Moneyist with all financial and ethical issues related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com

Dear second wife,

He received the stimulus payment for their two children because he claims them to be dependent on his taxes under their divorce settlement. It would be difficult to find a legal way for him to hand over half of his children's stimulus check to his ex. The Internal Revenue Service was hired to issue the stimulus checks to get people cash as quickly as possible.

That doesn't mean he makes the money more than his ex-wife, even if it was agreed that he would claim their children as dependent. If they have joint custody, parents and adults in the room should decide how to spend it on their children. If his ex-wife has custody of the boys, he should give her the money. These are emergency funds not intended to be used as a club after a bitter divorce, but to help families in strange and uncertain times.

The language in your letter is flammable, likely because you care about your husband and believe that she is the most unreasonable one in the relationship. But you only get his side of the story. Likewise, those in their lives hear their side of the story. Her theories about why she wants this money are both grumpy and baseless, and an already complicated situation.

Take the focus off the adult drama and focus on the kids instead.

The money is: "My husband told me that my $ 1,400 stimulus check will be spent on aluminum siding in our home." What can I do?

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