Dear Carolyn,

My wife, Sally, and I separated in 2019 and divorced in 2020.  We filed taxes as married in 2019, with the refund direct deposited to Sally.  The first two stimulus checks were also direct deposited to her for both of us. Sally filed her 2020 taxes as a single in February.  I have not yet filed my taxes.  Sally received the third stimulus check for only her.  What happened to my stimulus money?


Carolyn Answers,

The IRS launched the Get My Payment website application last weekend at Click on “Get My Payment.” When you fill in the fields in the boxes, you will get the status of your payment. If the payment comes up as “not available,” you are either ineligible, or the $1,400 stimulus payment has not been issued yet. Payments started March 12, 2021, to those with deposit information on file at IRS. Because your ex filed her 2020 return, her stimulus check was processed based upon that 2020 return with a status of “single.”

My recommendation is to file your 2020 tax return immediately, so the IRS has your current information. Continue to check the “Get My Payment” website. Thanks for writing Ask Carolyn.


Send your questions on family law and divorce matters to “Ask Carolyn…” at, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC  27427.  Please do not put identifying information in your questions.  Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation.  The column also uses hypothetical questions.  A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case.  Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…”