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Divorced parents question who gets extra child tax credit money

Judges often order parents to alternate years
Virus Outbreak Congress
Posted at 1:36 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 16:36:41-04

WASHINGTON — Whether you love the new stimulus law or think it is too costly, if you are a parent, it is most likely going to impact you.

That's because the law expanded the child tax credit and created a system that allows part of it to be paid on a monthly basis beginning later this summer.

Parents with children 5 and under receive $3,600 per child. Parents with children between the ages of 6-17 receive $3,000. That's on average about $1,000 more than what parents have been receiving for years.

The bonus money phases out for couples making more than $150,000 annually.

DIVORCED PARENTS CONUNDRUM

However, some divorced parents have questions. That's because many judges during divorce proceedings order parents to alternate years the child tax credit is claimed.

As of right now, the expanded child tax credit is only a perk for 2021, which means it could create an imbalance with which parent gets the extra money.

"In our divorce papers, we switch off years who claims our 5-year-old," Mallory Hughes, a mom from Utah, said.

"I don’t want to sound rude but I have sole physical custody and I have her all the time and it just worries me that it’ll go to him while it should be going to me," Hughes added.

GETTING ANSWERS

We took parents' complaints to the two United States Senators most responsible for expanding the child tax credit nationwide.

"Your question is really making me want to make sure we get that done right," Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said.

Brown promised to follow up with the Treasury Department to make sure the system is set up fairly. The Treasury Department will be administering the child tax credit program.

"There is going to be an online portal that’s going to allow people to send the IRS information when that arises," Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) said.

Both senators said they are now aware of the concern and will work to create a fair system. Both say the easiest solution is making this tax credit permanent, which is what they are working on now.

"I do think we’ll make it permanent this year," Bennet said.

"We are going to cut child poverty in half," Bennet added.

"I just can’t imagine that even the most conservative lawmakers will want to pull the rug out from under that," Brown said.